I keep reading articles exhorting me to move meat to the status of a relish and to make vegetables the star of my meals. That’s not a bad solution for people who don’t want to give up meat altogether but are cognisant of the arguments against its production and consumption. While it’s unlikely I’ll ever become a vegetarian (bacon!), let alone a vegan (cheese!), I do try to keep a healthy balance.
Sometimes the meat or fish element will be just a handful of bacon lardons or anchovies to add depth and flavour. Sometimes our meals are entirely vegetarian and we grow quite a lot of what we eat. I’ve never tried cultivating mushrooms although I do remember my sister keeping a fungus-impregnated log under the stairs many years ago. As I recall, she didn’t get much of a crop.
We’re fortunate though in having a number of mushroom farms in Suffolk. I interviewed Patrick Hearne, boss of organic growers Capel Mushrooms, for a magazine article recently. He was telling me rather wistfully he remembered when mushrooms were a luxury item, but today they’re cheap enough that most of us chuck them in our supermarket trolleys without a second thought.
I love mushrooms and this recipe makes a fast, tasty and economical weekday supper. It’s equally good over rice, tagliatelle or just buttery mashed potatoes.
PS Apologies to anyone who is wondering about The Case Of The Vanishing Pavlova … the post was published in error today and will re-appear shortly.
1 tbsp oil
3-4 large shallots or two medium onions, peeled and finely sliced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
500g mushrooms, sliced (I like chestnut mushrooms)
1 tbsp good-quality paprika
1/2 tspn caraway seeds
50 ml vegetable stock
150 ml sour cream (or double cream soured with 1 tspn lemon juice)
1 tbsp fresh dill, chopped
1 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Squeeze of lemon juice
Melt the butter with the oil in a deep frying pan and cook the shallots gently until soft and golden. Add the garlic and cook for a minute more.
Put the mushrooms in the pan, increase the heat to medium and fry for five minutes, until they’ve given up some of their moisture. Stir in the paprika and caraway seeds and cook for a minute or two more.
Pour in the stock and cook until most of the liquid has evaporated, then add the sour cream. Allow the mixture to thicken if necessary and season with salt and pepper.
Add a squeeze of lemon juice if it needs sharpening. Stir through the herbs, saving a few to garnish. A salad on the side and you’re good to go.
Mushroom goulash (or stroganoff,, as I like to replace the beef with mushrooms) is one of my favourite meatless meals. I am definitely going to try this one!
Thanks, Robin. I tried making it as a stroganoff first, but I really like the extra paprika and especially the caraway seeds. They lift the flavour and seem to have a great affinity with mushrooms. Lxxx
Delicious! I make a very similar dish and we never tire of it. The depth of flavour is truly amazing for just vegetables. A couple of tablespoons of port helps too….
Oh, you rogue! A splash of booze rarely hurts anything, imho. Thanks, Sandra. Lx
Oh I can taste that caraway! So often British cooks are a bit scared of lobbing it in but you clearly aren’t. More power to your elbow, am going to make this.
It really does make all the difference and you don’t need much. I’m well chuffed with this, wished I’d made twice as much last night so we could have had seconds! Thanks, Nic, hope you enjoy it. Lx
Gosh, so hard to imagine mushrooms as a luxury now, yes. I do like a goulash, will try this with some good meaty mushrooms.
Thanks, Jane, yes, isn’t it? I almost always have some in the house and they’re so versatile. Hope you like this one. Lx
This looks delicious, Linda! We make something similar at home over pasta. It’s true comfort food. Mushrooms are so “meaty” anyway it’s very satisfying.
Thanks, Frank! Yes, it’s really delicious. I loved the Italian potato gratin you made the other day, tried to comment but don’t know if it got through. I’ve bookmarked that one to make soon. Lx
Yes, it got through, Linda. Thanks for your comment!
This I will definitely make!! I love mushrooms! ( I know I’ve told you that! Haha )
That’s ok, you can tell me as many times as you like, I’m singing from the same hymn sheet! Thanks, Deb, pleased you like it. Lx
Excellent looking stuff Mrs. I had planned to cook a goulash and then forgot all about it. I must write these things down.
Thank you kindly, Sir.