Cèpes Farcis

Stuffed Cèpes

For two hundred years or more, a steady trickle of young Auvergnats have made their way to Paris to train as restaurant chefs. A few years ago about twenty founded an association: l’Amicale des Cuisiniers et Pâtissiers Auvergnats de Paris. Their book Cuisine d’Auvergne was written to record and honour the good country cooking of their family homes. Some of the dishes show signs of being altered to suit Parisian clients, in the way that Jane Grigson has called ‘la cuisine pastorale’. Others reflect their rustic origins more faithfully. This recipe is one such – I have been served cèpes in this fashion in the high plateau region of the Ardèche where it touches the Auvergne.

In the Auvergne the bolet à pied rouge (Erythropus) is common; in Britain field mushrooms replace them quite well.

Ingredients

  • 225 g(8 oz) fresh cèpes or field mushrooms
  • 55 g(2 oz) lard gras or streaky bacon, finely diced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chervil
  • 55 g(2 oz) white bread soaked in cold water and squeezed out
  • 1 egg
  • salt, milled pepper
  • nut or olive oil
  • 1 onion, finely chopped

Method

Cut the stalks of the cèpes level with the caps. Chop the stalks and mix with the bacon, garlic, parsley, chervil, bread and egg to make the stuffing. Season with salt and pepper and spoon on to the gill side of each cèpe or mushroom, pressing it down to make a little mound on each.

Brush an oven dish with the oil and spread the chopped onion over the base. Place the stuffed cèpes on top and sprinkle with a little more oil. Cover with a lid or a sheet of foil and cook in a slow oven (Mark 3, 160°C, 325°F) for 45–60 minutes, depending on size. Remove the lid 10 minutes before the end of the cooking time to allow the stuffing to brown a little.

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