Wild Mushroom and Potato Matafaim


Preparation info

    • Difficulty


Appears in

A Passion for Vegetables

By Paul Gayler

Published 1999

  • About


  • 250 g (9 oz) new potatoes
  • 50 g (2 oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 banana shallot, chopped
  • 100 g (4 oz) mixed wild mushrooms, cleaned
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
  • 50 g (2 oz) plain flour
  • 2 free range eggs, separated
  • 150 ml (¼ pint) milk
  • A pinch of sugar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


    Matafaim, meaning ‘to beat hunger’, is a potato dish eaten by farmers in the south of France after they have brought in the harvest. Traditionally it is torn with forks to serve.

    Preheat the oven to 190°C/375°F/gas mark 5. Boil the potatoes in their skins until just tender. Drain and allow to cool slightly, then peel and cut into slices 1cm (½in) thick.

    Heat half the butter in a 20 cm (8 in) ovenproof frying pan and sauté the potato slices for about 4-5 minutes on each side, until golden. Remove from the pan and keep warm. Add the remaining butter to the pan, then add the shallot and wild mushrooms and sauté over a high heat until tender. Add half the parsley, season to taste, then set aside.

    Sift the flour into a bowl, then beat in the egg yolks, milk and a pinch of salt to make a smooth batter. In a separate bowl, whisk the egg whites to a snow with the sugar, then fold them into the batter.

    Return the potatoes to the mushroom pan and raise the heat. Pour the batter in, and tilt the pan to let it run under the vegetables and spread evenly. Transfer to the oven and cook for 8-10 minutes, until puffy and golden. Tear into pieces with the aid of 2 forks and transfer to a serving bowl. Garnish with the remaining parsley and serve.