Friday, 3rd May 2019 – Recipes (Carla’s Potato and Mushroom Bake)
I was stuck with an unplanned vegetable box from Abel & Cole (I left it too late to say I didn’t want one this week) and thus needed to find ways of using what I had. This recipe came up in the Guardian the same day, so I took it as a sign from the gods of food.
We had this for supper tonight along with a steak (venison since you ask) and it was very good indeed, though it has to be said it’s not a pretty dish. This is partly because the potatoes are so thinly sliced (or at least mine are) that you can see the mushroom layer through the flesh which means it’s a dark grey/black colour and thus not the most photogenic thing you’ll ever see, and partly because potatoes are not especially attractive in terms of looks anyway!
I added some feta that needed using up to the final stage of slinging the whole thing back under the grill to try for a golden brown colour.
I should also add that it keeps well and reheats nicely.
Carla’s Potato and Mushroom Bake
- A few dried porcini, soaked for 30 minutes in 100ml hot water
- 500g mushrooms
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1 tbsp chopped parsley
- 1kg potatoes – all rounders, not too floury or waxy
- 60g Parmesan, grated
- Prep and soak: 30 min
- Cook: 1 hr 10 min
- Serves: 4 as a main, 6 as a starter
- Soak the porcini in 100ml hot water for half an hour. Butter the bottom and sides of a shallow 25cm cake tin. Put a circle of baking parchment in the bottom and butter that, too. Heat the oven to 180°C (160°C fan)/350°F/gas 4.
- Slice the mushrooms. In a frying pan, warm the olive oil, a walnut of butter, and the garlic, then add the mushrooms and a pinch of salt. As they cook and exude juice, raise the heat a bit so that by the time the mushrooms are soft and collapsed, there is just a little liquid remaining. Drain and chop the porcini and add to the pan, along with the parsley.
- Peel and slice the potatoes thinly – I do this on the slicing side of a box grater. Put in a bowl, season with salt and two tablespoons of olive oil, then toss.
- Arrange half the potato in the bottom of the tin as neatly or hastily as you like. Cover with the mushrooms and almost all of the grated Parmesan. Then cover with the rest of the potatoes, press down, and dot with butter. Cut a round of baking parchment and press on top to make a cover.
- Bake at the bottom of the oven for 10 minutes, move to the middle of the oven for 30 minutes, then turn the oven up to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6 for the last 10 minutes of cooking, to get a golden bottom.
- Remove from the oven, set aside for 10 minutes, then run a palette knife around the edge to loosen the bake. Now invert it on to a plate and pull away the parchment.
- The bottom – now the top – should be golden and crusty. If it isn’t, sprinkle with a little more grated Parmesan and slide under the grill for a few minutes so it bubbles and browns.
- I used mixed dried mushrooms.
- You may need more than “a little Parmesan” for Step 7.
- Don’t be tempted to skimp on buttering the tin, and don’t use greaseproof instead of baking parchement. If you do, it will stick.
- The recipe notes: “After step two, you may well be tempted to pile the mushrooms – something the Italians refer to as funghi trifolati – on to a piece of toast or stir through pasta – both of which are excellent”. This would be a shame after you’ve sliced all those potatoes!