Sheepshead Mushrooms–Fall 2009

If you’re a Sheepshead hunter you probably already know this–many have been spotted in North West and North Central Indiana. They seem a bit early this year, most likely because of the cool nights.

After it rains (if it ever rains again!) I’d expect many more to be found.

You can read more about Sheepshead Mushrooms here.

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Sheepshead Mushrooms

Disclaimer: I am not a mushroom expert. Not even close. My knowledge of Sheepshead Mushrooms has been passed down by lovers of the fungus, my Uncle Ed was my main source of knowledge.

To cover all bases, the Sheepshead is also known as Hen of the Woods, Maitake, or Ram’s Head. Its scientific name: Grifola frondosa.

They grow at the base of Oak trees or around fallen, rotting Oaks. We’ve found the Sheepshead in abundance in the fall. We go searching after a cold snap and rain. It’s best to be quick about getting out to the woods because the critters love these mushrooms.

To clean, we soak them in cold water in the sink for about an hour, then we break them apart and rub with our fingers to get the dirt and bugs off.

There are a variety of ways to prepare them. They can be sautéed, scrambled in eggs, fried, baked, or thrown in stews and soups.

Sheepshead are freezer friendly. The best way we’ve found is after washing, we batter them and lay them out on a cookie sheet and place in the freezer. Once frozen, they can be transferred to a Ziploc.
Here’s a great article written by a man with more knowledge than me.

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I think maybe I need to write more about sheepshead mushrooms. If you’ve come here because you are searching for information, let me know in the comments area or by email and maybe I’ll post some cleaning instructions and recipes!

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