Friday, 28 February 2020

Celeriac & Mushrooms au gratin

This came about after I read a description of "the best thing [Blanche Vaughan] ate this year" in The Guardian, and thought, yes; that does sound utterly delicious.

Mine was considerably more rustic than the dish described, my mushrooms were foraged at the local grocery store and not on Bodmin Moor, and I didn't do the faffing around with egg yolks or pre-poaching the celeriac. I'm sure the textures of my dish suffered accordingly.

Next time I might pre-poach the celeriac, and I would add the mushroom stems to the broth then strain them out to wring out every drop of flavour from them. But even this simplified version was very, very tasty and a joy to eat. The top layer of celeriac got a little dried out rather than braised, but it was cooked through. If I wasn't going to pre-poach the celeriac, I would at least make sure the broth and cream come right up to the top layer of the vegetables next time. I'm also calling for more crumb topping than I made; mine was skimpy. And watch that butter - there's a total of 5 tablespoons called for, but used in different places, not all at once.

4 to 6 servings
1 hour 15 minutes - 30 minutes prep time

Celeriac & Mushrooms au gratin

2/3 cup fine dry bread crumbs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
225 grams (1/2 pound) button mushrooms
125 grams (1/4 pound) shiitake mushrooms
125 grams (1/4 pound) oyster mushrooms
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 teaspoons rubbed savory OR thyme
1/4 teaspoon rosemary leaves, ground
1 teaspoon ground ginger
salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste
900 grams (1 large; 2 pounds) celeriac
1 to 1 1/4 cups vegetable OR chicken stock
1/2 cup 10% cream

Put the bread crumbs in a small bowl with 2 tablespoons of butter and rub them together until there are no dry crumbs left and they form moist clumps. Set them aside until needed.

Clean, trim, and slice the mushrooms, discarding the tough stems from the shiitake mushrooms (definitely) and the oyster mushrooms (maybe).

Preheat the oven to 375°F. Use 1 tablespoon of butter to grease a 9" x 13" shallow baking (lasagne) pan or similar. Put the 2 tablespoons of butter into a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat until melted and bubbling. Add the mushrooms and cook them, until softened and browned. Give them a good stir when they first go in to distribute the butter as well as possible, but then let them cook and get brown so don't stir them too much.

Meanwhile, peel and cut the celeriac in half. Then slice it as thinly as you can. Lay a layer of slightly overlapping celeriac slices over the bottom of the prepared baking dish (half of them). Turn in the cooked mushrooms and spread them out evenly. Top with the remaining celeriac slices in a covering layer. Mix the stock and cream and pour it all over the vegetables, wetting the celeriac as much as you can. Sprinkle the buttered crumbs evenly over the top.

Bake for 45 to 50 minutes, until the celeriac is tender. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Last year at this time I made Beans with Sweet Potatoes in a Spicy Peanut Sauce.


Marnie said...

Good grief, I think this means I've had "Beans with Sweet Potatoes in a Spicy Peanut Sauce" bookmarked for a WHOLE YEAR without getting around to making it. Soon, I swear!

Ferdzy said...

It's time!