Poach the mushrooms for this drunken mushroom pizza recipe with any beer you like, and experiment with different Alpine cheeses, too.
My husband is not a huge mushroom fan, so when I decided to make a mushroom pizza, I knew I had to entice him with other things he does love — like beer and cheese. You can use whatever lager or ale you have in the fridge (as I did), but an Oktoberfest brew would be especially flavorful.
For the cheese, I went with Doe Run's Hickory on the Hill, an Appenzeller-style washed in coffee, black cardamom, and coriander. Since the cheese flavor really stands out on this pizza, I recommend bypassing the plain-old grocery store Swiss and picking out something special at your local cheese counter.
Appenzeller, Gruyère, Emmental, Havarti, Raclette, Compte — any semi-hard, Alpine-style cheese with a nutty, slightly sweet flavor will do the trick. There's a reason that mushroom and Swiss is such a classic culinary pairing. Both share mineral, earthy notes, but the sweet undertones and subtle tang of Alpine-style cheeses accentuate mushroom's deep umami flavor, bringing all five tastes into play.
PS: If you're looking for a delicious vegetable side for Thanksgiving, double or triple the recipe (minus the dough, olive oil, and cheese) and make the beer-poached mushrooms on their own, sprinkled with parsley.
Drunken Mushroom Pizza with Beer-Poached Mushrooms and Gruyère
- Cutting board and knife
- Medium saucepan
- Rolling pin (optional)
- Large rimmed baking sheet or baking stone/steel
- Pizza peel (optional)
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 8 ounces cremini mushrooms, sliced
- ⅔ cup lager, ale, or Oktoberfest beer
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 1 (14- to 16-ounce) ball pizza dough
- Extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 ounces Alpine cheese, such as Appenzeller, Gruyère, or Swiss, shredded
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Preheat the oven to 500°F (if using a baking sheet) or as high as it will go (if using a baking stone/steel; place the stone/steel in the bottom third of the oven before you start preheating). Let the oven preheat for at least 30 minutes. Then, if you’re using a baking stone or steel, switch the oven to Broil on high.
- Melt the butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. When the butter is frothy, add the mushrooms, then pour in the beer. Cook the mushrooms, uncovered, for 20 to 25 minutes or until all but 1 tablespoon or so of liquid is absorbed. Remove the pan from the heat; season the mushrooms with salt and pepper, and set them aside to cool.
- Stretch or roll out your dough to a 12- to 14-inch circle, then transfer it to an oiled or parchment-lined baking sheet or a lightly floured pizza peel (if using a baking stone/steel).
- Drizzle the dough lightly with olive oil. Sprinkle on half of the shredded cheese, then spread the mushrooms evenly over top, leaving a ½-inch border of dough. Finally, sprinkle on the parsley and the remaining ½ cup of cheese.
- Transfer the pizza to the oven and bake until the crust is golden and the cheese has browned in spots—8 to 10 minutes on the baking sheet, 6 to 8 minutes on the baking stone/steel.
- Remove the pizza from the oven and let it cool for a few minutes, then slice and serve.
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