Nigel Slater’s Kitchen Diaries III is an instant classic in our house. We saw this recipe first on Slater’s hypnotic television programme and decided to try it. We are limited here by the type of fresh mushrooms available, but with a little adaptation and the help of a handful of dried porcini, it turned out marvellous. Just what is needed on a chilly winter day. Serves 4
For the marinade:-
750g assorted fresh mushrooms [Nigel used brown chestnut, king oyster and button. We used 500g button & a handful of dried porcini, soaked in a splash of boiling water]
1 tsp coriander seeds
2 tsp black peppercorns
3 bay leaves
6 sprigs fresh thyme
2 sprigs fresh rosemary
250ml red wine [we of course used Spanish]
For the sauce:-
4 large onions [we can’t get shallots, but if you can use 2 onions & 8 small shallots]
3 garlic cloves
2 small carrots
2 tsp tomato paste
2 tbsp plain flour
250ml vegetable stock
1 tsp balsamic vinegar
For the mash:-
2 butternut squash
Slice the largest mushrooms into pieces the thickness of a pound coin, and put them in a large mixing bowl. Quarter the chestnut mushrooms and halve the button mushrooms [if they are small, leave whole], add to the bowl. If using dried porcini, add now with the soaking water.
Crack the coriander seeds and peppercorns using a pestle and mortar, or grind coarsely in a spice/coffee grinder. Tuck the bay leaves, thyme and rosemary among the mushrooms, add the coriander/pepper mixture. Pour the red wine over the mushrooms and cover. Leave to marinate for an hour. Peel the onions and cut in half, then slice each half into six segments. Put a couple of tbsp of olive oil into a deep, heavy-based casserole, add the onions, and cook over a moderate heat. Stir occasionally. In 15-20 minutes they will be soft and golden.
Peel and thinly slice the garlic, add to the onions. Scrub the carrots, cut into small dice, add to the onions. If using shallots, peel, leave them whole and add to the onions. Add the tomato paste and leave to cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
Drain the mushrooms [reserving the wine] and add to the onions, leave to cook. When done, the mixture will be gold and brown. Scatter the flour over the mushroom mixture, stir in, and allow to cook for a couple of minutes before adding the red wine and stock. Mix gently, avoid breaking up the mushrooms, then bring to the boil. Season with salt and pepper and leave to simmer gently for 20 minutes till it is dark, rich and woodsy. Check the seasoning, if needed add a tsp of balsamic vinegar. To make the mash, peel and roughly chop the butternut squash and steam over boiling water for 20 minutes until tender. Add the butter and crush using a potato masher.
Serve the mushrooms with the mash. We ate it with fresh asparagus, a gift from a neighbour who have their own field. This asparagus was picked that morning by their children.A note: when we saw this made on television, Nigel recommended steaming the butternut rather than boiling it in a pan. We did the latter, and our mash was rather wet. Next time, we will steam it.
5 to remember
instante – instant
un clásico – a classic
el adobo – the marinade
surtido – assorted
recomendó – recommended
Recipe adapted from ‘A Year of Good Eating’ by Nigel Slater [UK: Fourth Estate]
And if you’d like to tweet a link to THIS post, here’s my suggested tweet:
Mushroom & butternut stew: a #recipe for winter by @NigelSlater via @Spanish_Valley http://wp.me/p3dYp6-1Kh