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Posted on Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 11:30 a.m.

Leek and Morel Sauce for a springtime beef dish

By Mary Bilyeu


Mary Bilyeu | Contributor

Jeremy and I stopped by The Produce Station recently because I'd read on the store's Facebook page that "Morel Mushrooms are here!" Morels are Jeremy's favorites. He has very little use for the inexpensive white button mushrooms; he'd rather have the rich, luscious morels.

But you don't have to spend the proverbial fortune on these seasonal delicacies; I bought a small handful for $3.60 (with many thanks to the employee who took the time to let me pick a few and then took them for packaging and pricing, when I couldn't find a small container and didn't need a large one). And just those few morels will provide a tremendous flavor to this fabulous chicken dish I prepared last year or to this creamy sauce that I served over beef patties. Leeks and morels are a perfect combination, heralding the arrival of spring.

Served with rice or noodles, or maybe with potatoes, this is a lovely dish to enjoy when springtime light, buds, birds, and hints of warmth are starting to appear, but there's also still a bit of a chill in the air. The leeks are tender, the bacon adds a bit of crunch, the morels infuse the meal with sophistication, and the sauce elevates a seemingly simple meal into something very special.

Beef with Springtime Leek and Morel Sauce

1-1/4 pounds ground beef
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper

Gently mix together beef with salt and pepper to taste. Divide into 4 patties.

Heat a skillet and cook patties over medium heat for 5-7 minutes per side, to desired doneness.

4 strips bacon
1 large leek, ends trimmed, quartered lengthwise, sliced thin
1/4 cup morels, finely chopped
pinch of red pepper flakes
1/2 cup half-and-half

Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat, until crisp; remove bacon from pan, drain on paper towels, and chop fine.

Add leeks to the skillet with the bacon fat; cook over medium heat for 5 minutes. Add the chopped bacon, the morels, and the red pepper flakes; cook for 5 more minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the half-and-half and cook for 2 minutes to reduce the sauce slightly.

Place patties onto a serving platter and pour sauce over the top.

Serves 4.

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Mary Bilyeu writes for on Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, telling about her adventures in the kitchen - making dinner, celebrating holidays, entering cooking contests, meeting new friends ... whatever strikes her fancy. She is also on a mission to find great deals for her Frugal Floozie Friday posts, seeking fabulous food at restaurants on the limited budget of only $5 per person. Feel free to email her with questions, comments, or suggestions:

Go visit Mary's blog — Food Floozie — where she enthuses and effuses over all things food-related; and look for her monthly articles in the Washtenaw Jewish News. "Like" her on Facebook, or send a tweet on Twitter, too.

The phrase "You Should Only Be Happy" (written in Hebrew on the stone pictured in this post) comes from Deuteronomy 16:15 and is a wish for all her readers - when you come to visit here, may you always be happy.



Tue, Apr 16, 2013 : 4:52 p.m.

This looks and sounds delicious!