Growing your own beefsteak mushrooms

The world of fungi is filled with many magnificent specimens. From the deadly Death Cap mushroom to the unique Lions Mane mushroom, the numerous species and varieties of fungi are something to behold. Mushrooms are commonly used in a culinary and medicinal context, and their earthy flavour and texture makes them a much used substitute for meat. Of all mushrooms, perhaps none is more famous in regards to resembling meat than the aptly named beefsteak mushroom. Fistulina Hepatica, to give it its scientific name, is a very substantial mushroom, commonly found in the wild. With our beefsteak mushroom grow kit, you can grow these edible mushrooms in the boundaries of your property.

The beefsteak is a unique mushroom in texture and appearance. The tongue-shaped cap ranges from pink to a dark brown, with the colour growing darker the older the mushroom is. The underside is quite pale, almost a cream colour, that bruises a deep red or brown. When cut from the source, the mushroom ‘bleeds’ a pinkish liquid and when cut apart, the beefsteak mushroom resembles a cut of meat, complete with veined, marbled, deep red flesh inside.

The beefsteak mushroom, however, does require prior preparation in order to get the most out of it. Young specimens are generally tastier, as older mushrooms can be quite sour. Tannic acids can also amass in mushrooms, particularly if they grow on oak trees. In this case, it needs to be boiled or soaked for several hours, with instructions varying from boiling for 24 hours in salt water, to boiling through several changes of water, to soaking it in milk in order to remove the bitterness. Once soaked, the mushroom can be used in many dishes. It is best used in dishes that take advantage of its unique, meaty texture, such as stir fries and stews. A popular option is to bread and fry it. Heavy seasoning is usually required as the beefsteak doesn’t have too much of a taste, but a substantial texture.

Being quite a large mushroom, it needs to be grown on wider logs and stumps. With the right equipment, however, you can easily grow them yourself. We sell plugs so that you can grow these mushrooms, and between 30 and 1200 plugs are available from our store. Logs and rounds should be partially buried vertically into the ground to encourage good fruiting and to allow you to harvest handfuls of these edible mushrooms.