Wild Mushroom and Potato Mould with a sauce of Dried Mushrooms

The fields, after a warm, wet summer, may be full of mushrooms for the creation of a wide range of lovely vegetable dishes. This dish can be made with farmed mushrooms but will inevitably lose some of its flavour. Dried mushrooms, especially the Italian porcini – or dried ceps – are available in most good delicatessens.

Ingredients

  • 1 lb (450 g) potatoes, peeled
  • 2 oz (50 g) butter
  • 8 oz (225 g) field mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic, chopped
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Handful of chopped parsley

For the Sauce

  • 2 oz (50 g) dried mushrooms, covered with hot water and soaked for ½ hour
  • 2 shallots, chopped
  • 1 oz (25 g) butter
  • ¼ pint (150 ml) cream
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Method

Boil or steam the peeled potatoes. While they are cooking, melt half the butter in a pan and cook the sliced mushrooms with the garlic. Raise the heat at the end to evaporate some of the liquid.

Purée the cooked potatoes and stir in the beaten eggs, the seasoning and the parsley with the remaining butter. Butter a pint (1.4 litre) pudding bowl or soufflé dish, put in the mushrooms and then the potatoes. Smooth the surface and cover with buttered paper. Place in a bain-marie and bake in the oven at gas mark 6/400°F/200°C for 30 minutes. Leave to rest for 5 minutes or so, and then turn out.

While the mould is cooking make the sauce. Drain the mushrooms. Reserve the liquid and make up to 1 pint (570 ml) with a little stock or water if necessary. Fry the chopped shallots gently in the butter, add the mushrooms and, after a few minutes, the mushroom liquid. Cook until this has almost evaporated. Add the cream and lemon juice and serve with the mushroom and potato mould.

‘Mashed potato is the gentile’s chicken noodle soup. It’s nature’s tranquilliser. I take it instead of Valium.’

From Love after Lunch by Andrew Payne.

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