For a great party canapé, fill puff pastry cases with creamy wild porcini and chestnut mushrooms
- 10 vol-au-vent cases (see 'goes well with')
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 shallots, finely chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, crushed
- 25g dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in hot water for 30 mins
- 100g chestnut mushroom, roughly chopped
- 1 tsp chopped thyme leaf, plus extra to serve
- 4 tbsp mascarpone
- 85g Parmesan (or vegetarian alternative), finely grated, plus extra shavings to serve
MethodAdd the shallots and garlic, and gently sauté for a couple of mins. Remove the porcini mushrooms from the soaking liquid and squeeze out any excess. Roughly chop and add to the pan along with the chestnut mushrooms and thyme. Cook for about 5 mins. If the mixture seems dry, add a little mushroom soaking liquid.
- 200g pearled spelt
- 25g dried porcini mushrooms
- ½ tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely diced
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- 100g chestnut button mushroom, cut into quarters
- 100ml white wine
- 1l hot vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp low-fat crème fraîche
- bunch chives, finely chopped
- handful grated pecorino or Parmesan to serve (optional)
- Cover the spelt with cold water and soak the dried mushrooms in 100ml boiling water in a separate bowl for 20 mins. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan. Tip in the onion and garlic, cook for 2 mins, then add the chestnut mushrooms and cook for a further 2 mins. Drain the spelt and add along with the wine. Simmer until almost all the liquid evaporates, stirring often.
- Drain the porcini mushrooms, add them to the pan and the soaking liquid to the vegetable stock. Stir in the stock 1 cup at a time and simmer, stirring often, until all liquid is absorbed and the spelt is just tender, about 20 mins in total. Stir in the crème fraîche and season with salt and pepper. Spoon onto plates and sprinkle over chives and cheese (if using).
- 450g self-raising flour
- 225g shredded beef suet
- 1 tbsp each butter and vegetable oil, plus extra oil
- 2 large onions, thinly sliced
- 8 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
- 4 large field mushrooms, stems removed
- 500g venison shoulder, cut into 2cm cubes, trimmed or sinew
- 1 tbsp plain flour, seasoned with salt and pepper
- 1 tsp tomato purée
- 200ml brown ale
- 1 tsp sugar
- 4 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
- First make the pastry. Sift 1 tsp salt and flour together and stir in the suet. Add 300ml cold water and work until it all comes together into a dough. Wrap in cling film and chill for 1 hr.
- Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan. Gently fry the onions and garlic for 10 mins until soft. Tip out of the pan, then add a little more oil. Now fry the mushrooms until golden, then tip out. Toss the venison in the flour and fry in batches, adding more oil as you go, until really golden brown. Mix the purée, ale, sugar and thyme into the pan, then cool.
- Now butter a 2½ pt/1.4-litre basin. Roll the suet pastry out to about 1cm thick and use to line the sides of the basin. Trim so that there’s a little overhang. Re-roll what’s left and cut out a lid that’s about 1cm wider than the top of the basin. Put the mushrooms around the sides of the basin, stalks facing in, then fill the basin with meat and juices. You might not need all the juices.
- Place the lid on top and crimp the edges together to seal. Make a double layer of buttered foil and baking paper, and pleat it in the centre. Scrunch this over the pudding, foil-side up, then tie with string under the rim of the basin. Trim to about 2cm under the string, then put into a steamer or sit on a saucer in a large pan containing enough gently simmering water to come halfway up the sides of the bowl. Steam the pudding for 4 hrs. Unwrap and turn out onto a big plate. I like to serve this with broccoli or cauliflower cheese.
- 2 tbsp vegetable oil
- 2 carrots, chopped
- ½ swede, chopped
- 12 pearl onions, peeled and left whole
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 1 rosemary sprig
- 1 tsp tomato purée
- 1 tsp yeast extract, such as Marmite
- 200g can chopped tomatoes
- 50ml white wine
- 175ml vegetable stock
- 500g fresh penny buns/ceps or mixed wild mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 200g vacumn-packed chestnuts, halved
- 3 potatoes, diced
- 2 parsnips, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 300g celeriac, diced
- 100g butter
- 50ml milk
- Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add the carrot, swede and onions, and cook for 8 mins. Add the garlic, rosemary, tomato purée and yeast extract, and cook for a further 5 mins. Add the tomatoes and white wine and scrape all the goodness off the bottom of the pan. Pour in the stock, add the mushrooms and chestnuts, then simmer for 8 mins until the sauce is reduced and thickened. Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly.
- Meanwhile, to make the topping, put all the vegetables in a large pan of salted water and bring to the boil. Cook for 12 mins or until the vegetables are tender. Drain, then allow to steam-dry for 5 mins. Roughly mash the roots with the butter, milk and some seasoning.
- Heat oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5. Pile the mushroom mixture into an ovenproof dish, top with the mash, then cook for 30 mins until golden and bubbling. Serve with some buttered greens, if you like.