A mushroom that looks, feels, is full of protein and even tastes like meat?
|Photo Credit: Sam Harris|
Next time you talk a country walk, keep an eye out for one of Mushrooms best kept secrets! Beefsteak fungi (Fistulina hepatica) or known regionally in the UK as Ox tongue fungi, is a great find when found growing on or near by beech or oak tree.
In fact there enough protein and goodness in one of those bad boys to feed your family a hearty vegetarian meal that they will all enjoy.
Surprisingly easy to identify, a beefsteak mushroom is a unique bracket fungi that just loves to grow in oak and beech woodlands, often found either on the roots or a few meters up the trunk of an ancient broadleaf tree.
The tip to finding a good location for these meaty mushrooms is not as you’d expect! Looking down on the ground is not going to help. In fact the best way to locate a tree that may have this fungi growing on or around the trunk, is to look for a tree with dead branches way up in the crown of for example an ancient oak tree. Look for a tree who’s outline looks more like a stags horn rather than the typical rounded tree shape, this royal tree is under extreme stress and as such likely to be host to a selection of fungi, both edible and non-edible tree clinging mushrooms.
|Photo Credit: Sam Harris|
Soft to the touch, bloody and looking like a piece of beef attached to a tree, this beauty really is a fantastic fungi, packed full of goodness you really are going to want to know how to prepare a beefsteak mushroom so your family can enjoy this nutritious mushroom for themselves.
Removing the fungi from the tree is not for the faint hearted and best be prepared with the necessary tools. Likely hood is when you first spot one unless your out hunting for mushrooms, you will need to go home collect a mushroom knife to remove the bracket fungi from the tree and a basket to carry it safely home.
Once you have cut the succulent juicy beefsteak fungus from the tree trunk, you cannot help but notice how the mushroom fluids resemble blood, this is quite normal and just confirms you have found a beefsteak mushroom.
On arriving home and showing off your mushroom to the family, wash off the fungi throughly and stand it immersed in water for 30 minutes while you prepare the chopping board and a large carving knife ready to carve your find.
Now your beefsteak mushroom is clean, drain and place on the chopping board and begin slicing the fungi removing the layer of outer tough flesh and the any damaged or torn pieces.
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