Mushroom stock, pressure-cooked

This is my go-to mushroom stock. It’s made in the pressure cooker so it’s really fast. Cleaning the mushroom will take a while, maybe 30 minutes.

The final yield will be around 750 g stock.

Ingredients for Mushroom stock.
100g unsalted butter
750g button mushrooms, halved
200g Dry Madeira
8 sprigs of thyme
5g black peppercorns
1500g spring water

How to make Mushroom stock:
To clean the mushroms I put them all in the sink filled with water, then clean them one by one with papertowels, brushing off the dirt. Once cleaned place in a bowl, when the bowl is full place your hand on top and tip over to drain off any water, then place the mushrooms on a plate topped with kitchentowels to drain further. Once kinda dry, half all mushrooms with a knife.
Melt the butter in a pressure cooker over medium heat. Add the mushrooms and stir and shake the pot to coat them with the melted butter. Raise the heat to medium-high and continue to cook until the mushrooms are golden brown. The mushrooms will release loads of water but continue to cook until the water is evaporated. When evaporated the mushrooms will brown quite quickly so keep a close eye on them so they don’t go too far.
Deglaze the pan with the Madeira. Once it’s boiling set fire to the alcohol with a match or lighter while standing well back. Once the flames subside let it boil down to a thick syrup.
Add 1500g spring water, the black peppercorns and the thyme to the pressure cooker, put the lid on. Bring up to full pressure over high heat then reduce the heat to low and cook for 30 minutes.
Take the pressure cooker off the heat and allow to cool. Once the pressure dissipated remove the lid and strain the stock into a clean saucepan through a chinois. Reduce the stock by half over high heat.
This reduction is easily done by first weighing the empty saucepan, then weighing the saucepan with the sieved stock in it. Then take this total weight minus the empty saucepan weight, divide by two and add to the empty saucepan weight. This is the final weight we are aiming for when the stock is reduced by half. Keep weighing your saucepan while reducing until this weight is hit.
Pass the stock through a SuperBag or a sieve lined with two layers of wet muslin cloth. Portion then refrigerate or freeze for later use.

Mains, Pasta

Portobello-Porcini Pasta

porcini_pastaThis is a nice robust pasta sauce for autumn and 100 % vegetarian.
Makes two large portions.

Ingredients for the Portobello-Porcini Pasta:
250g portobello mushrooms, sliced in 5 mm slices
50g dried porcini mushrooms, soaked in 200 ml warm water for 10 minutes
3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced
2 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
100ml double cream
1/2 lemon
250g rigatoni pasta
Olive oil
Splash of Noilly Prat vermouth, optional
Small handful of freshly chopped flat leaf parsley, optional
Small handful of freshly chopped basil, optional

Preparing the Portobello-Porcini Pasta:
Heat a large saute pan until hot. Add some olive oil and then add the garlic and thyme leaves. Saute for a few minutes.
Add the portobello mushrooms to the pan and saute for 15 minutes. They will release a bit of water so keep sauteing and “jumping them” in the pan until the water is absorbed back into the mushrooms.
Drain the porcini mushrooms using a finemesh sieve, reserving the soaking liquor. Wash them thoroughly under cold running water (sometimes they can have a bit of sand and grit on them). Chop the porcini mushrooms finely.
Deglaze the saute pan with a bit of Noilly Prat if using, scrape the bottom of the pan and boil hard to get rid of the alcohol.
Add the porcini liquor and the chopped porcinis to the pan. Saute for about 10 minutes.
Add the lemon juice to the pan and boil a bit, add the double cream and stir to incorporate. Add basil and parsley if using.
Boil the rigatoni according to the instructions on the packet (in water with plenty of salt).
Drain the rigatoni but reserve two ladles of the pasta water.
Add the rigatoni to the sauce and stir to combine, add some of the reserved pasta water if the sauce is too thick.
Serve in warmed bowls with plenty of parmesan, extra virgin olive oil drizzled on top and freshly milled pepper, add some parsley as well if you have some.

Mains, Risotto

Risotto ai Funghi di Bosco

This is a great risotto, especially if you love mushrooms.

This makes enough for at least 4 people.

Ingredients for the mushroom risotto:
1.5 liters chicken (or vegetable) stock
140g unsalted butter
4 shallots, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
200g chestnut mushrooms, chopped
25g dried porcini mushrooms
25g dried galetti mushrooms (optional)
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
1 tbsp fresh marjoram, chopped
150ml dry white wine or Vermouth
500g Carnaroli risotto rice
75g freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preparing the mushroom risotto:
Put the stock in a saucepan and heat to a gentle simmer. Put the dried mushrooms in a bowl and poor over enough hot water to cover. Let stand for 20-30 minutes and then sieve the mushrooms over another bowl. Keep the soaking liquor. Rinse the soaked mushrooms under cold water then chop them roughly.
Melt 100 g of the butter in a large, heavy saucepan and then add the shallots and garlic. Cook gently for about 10 minutes until soft, golden but not browned. Stir in the mushrooms and herbs then cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes to heat through. Salt and pepper.
Pour in the wine and boil hard until it has reduced and almost disappeared. This will remove the taste of raw alcohol. Add about 100 ml of the mushroom soaking liquor and boil a bit longer until this has reduced.
Stir in the rice and fry with the onion and mushrooms until dry and slightly opaque.
Begin adding the stock, one ladle at a time, stirring until each ladle has been absorbed by the rice. Continue until the rice is tender and creamy but still with some bite. This takes about 20 minutes.
Add the rest of the mushroom soaking liquor to a small saucepan and put on high heat to reduce.
Taste and season the risotto well with salt and pepper.
Stir in the parmesan and the remaining butter (cubed into small cubes). Cover the saucepan and let rest for a couple of minutes.
Serve the risotto in warmed bowls. Spoon a bit of the reduced mushroom liquor on top to give extra mushroom flavor. Drizzle a bit of extra virgin olive oil and finally shave some Parmesan on top and finish with a few turns of the black pepper mill.

Mains, Pasta

Pasta sauce with pancetta and mushrooms

This is my freestyle version of an “Tomato and anchovy pasta sauce” recipe found here.

This will be enough sauce for three big portions or four medium sized ones.

You need:
500ml roast tomato sauce
1 onion
25-50g of anchovies in oil
70-100g of pancetta (italian bacon)
50ml of Creme Fraiche
Some mushrooms

How its made:
Heat some olive oil in a big pan, chop the onion finely. Choose how many anchovies you want, I took about half a 50g tin. Chop the anchovies finely. Fry the onion gently until its soft and nice but not colored. Add the anchovies. Cook for something like 10 minutes and stir.
While the anchovies and onion is cooking – Take another pan and put in a small amount of olive oil. Fry the pancetta in this pan. They fry very fast so don’t leave them too long. The goal is to get a nice brown color. Use some kitchen tweezers to turn them. Put them on kitchen paper so they get dry and crispy.
Chop the mushrooms into quite fine pieces and fry them in the same pan as the pancetta just left. Leave the oil from the pancetta in there. When the mushrooms are nice and brown reduce the heat.
Stir in the roast tomato sauce and simmer for about 15 minutes.
Put in the mushrooms and the creme fraiche. Bring back to a simmer and add the pancetta (break it into smaller pieces). Taste and season with salt and freshly grounded black pepper (be careful not to salt too much, the anchovies and pancetta will have added some salt already).

Directly put it on top of freshly cooked pasta, trickle with extra virgin olive oil, put some black pepper on and add a few fresh basil leaves.