Purple Laccaria

This weekend I was fortunate to find this year’s crop of purple Laccaria in the same spot I’ve found them for the past 6-7 years. I have several spots that yeild purple Lacs on an annual basis. I generally find them in in moist drains in patches along with chanterelles. My experience has been that in any one patch I may pick enough to fill a large serving bowl, stems removed.

The purple Laccaria is variously described as a poor quality edible, or OK and tasting like crab. I don’t smell the crab, but it certainly is a unique tasing mushroom, that I do not care for simple sauteed. Also, the stem are very fibrous and tough. So, why I am I so happy about finding them?
Several years ago,I found a purple Laccaria with plum sauce recipe in the Field-to-Kitchen Guide I’ve previously mentioned. I experimented a bit and came up with my own version that I love. I cooked for the family last night and it was fabulous. The sweet plum sauce and the Laccaria just match very well.

Laccaria with Plum Sauce
    Many of the ingredients don’t have exact measurements, so find what works. This is the way I did it last night. I used a mortar and pestle to grind my pepper. Thyme and sage were powdered store-bought.
Pork loin roast, 2 lb. 4 oz.
Rub with crushed garlic, then a mix of fresh ground black pepper, a little sage, thyme and garlic salt.

In a dutch oven or skillet sear the roast on all sides, then place on a roasting rack. Pour enough apple juice in the roasting pan to cover the bottom. Add 3-4 cups corasely chopped laccaria and let them fall into the apple juice. Place roast in a pre-heated 450-degree oven. Immediately reduce to 350 degrees and roast 30-35 minutes per lb. Check internal temperature with a meat thermometer. Continue cooking until internal temp is 150 degrees F.

When roast is done, remove from rack and let rest.
Scrape mushrooms and juices into a black iron skillet. Add a little butter and stir briefly. Stir in plum perserves ( I used 8 oz. here). Add enough apple juice to make the sauce “soupy”. Simmer to reduce liquid. Add 1 tsp brandy to the reduction.

Slice pork roast and serve on top of the mushrooms and drizzle a little of the reduction over each slice of pork. We accompanied it with fresh okra , squach, and tomatoes from the farmer’s market.
Get a second helping!