Potting is the simplest way to stop airborne organisms from spoiling food. Meat, fish and vegetables are protected from oxidisation under a thick barrier of fat – which is extremely tasty. This woodland-inspired preserve is delicious served on hot toasted sourdough with a poached egg or added to a risotto with a drizzle of truffle
Potting is the simplest way to stop airborne organisms from spoiling food. Meat, fish and vegetables are protected from oxidisation under a thick barrier of fat – which is extremely tasty.
This woodland-inspired preserve is delicious served on hot toasted sourdough with a poached egg or added to a risotto with a drizzle of truffle oil. The key is to cook your mushrooms until they have caramelised and soaked up all the flavour from your herbs and spices. Prepare enough clarified butter for a thick protective layer.
Prep time: 10 minutes | Cooking time: 15 minutes
a 750ml jar
- 150g salted butter
- 2 shallots, finely diced
- 1kg mixed mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- Pinch of grated nutmeg
- 4 sprigs of thyme, leaves chopped, plus 1 sprig to garnish
- 50ml (3 tbsp) apple brandy or sherry
- Sea salt and cracked black pepper
- Melt 75g of the butter in a large frying pan and add your shallots, mushrooms, and garlic. Cook over a high heat until the shallots have softened and the mushrooms have started to brown.
- Meanwhile, slowly melt the remaining butter in a small saucepan or butterpan for five to 10 minutes and skim off the white, foamy milk solids from the surface using a slotted spoon.
- Set aside the clarified butter, away from the direct heat but keeping it warm so that it doesn’t set while the mushrooms are cooking. Reduce the heat under your mushrooms and add in the nutmeg and chopped thyme. Season to taste with about one teaspoon of salt and a pinch of black pepper.
- After five to 10 minutes, add the brandy or sherry and flambé to burn off the alcohol. Then remove the mushrooms from the heat and pour into a 750ml sterilised glass jar. Press down the mushroom mixture with a spoon to expel any air pockets. Smooth the top and then pour over a generous layer of the clarified butter.
- Garnish the top of the clarified butter with a sprig of thyme. Allow to cool so the butter sets to form an impermeable barrier.
- Store in a cool cupboard for up to four weeks.
- After the butter seal has been broken, keep refrigerated and consume within one week.
- You can blitz the mushrooms into a spreadable paste before potting, but I like the rustic texture of mushrooms on toast.
- Make clarified butter in a large batch and store for up to six months at room temperature or for one year in the fridge. If stored at cooler temperatures it will solidify, so you will need to warm it up to liquefy it again before pouring into pots.
- You can blitz dried porcini mushrooms into a powder and add to warm clarified butter to make a flavoured version. Cook over a low heat for three to four minutes to release the flavours and allow to cool as usual. Can be used for all kinds of potting.
Recipe from The Artisan Kitchen by James Strawbridge (DK, £20). Order your copy from books.telegraph.co.uk