• Clare McElhatton

Oyster Mushroom 'Steak' & Chips

With a creamy peppercorn sauce. Can be made vegan or with dairy


Serves 2

For the chips:

· 1 large potato

· Vegetable oil

· Coarse cornmeal

For the mushroom ‘steak’

· 1 small ‘cluster’ of oyster mushrooms

· Oil

· Salt

· Pepper

· Optional: Butter or good vegan butter (E.g. Vegan block)

·

For the sauce

· Pepper

· Salt

· 100ml Double cream: dairy or plant based (Elmlea plant cream is good)

· 100ml dry vermouth (brandy or wine can be used instead)

· Optional: Butter or good vegan butter (E.g. Vegan block)

Method:

Chips

1. Preheat the oven to its maximum temperature.

2. Wash the potatoes (no need to peel) and cut into ‘chip’ shapes. They can be cut into fries or chunky chips, however you prefer

3. In a bowl, add the potatoes and 2 tbsp of vegetable oil. Stir to coat well.

4. Add 1 heaped tbsp of coarse semolina and mix into the potatoes to coat them evenly.

5. Spread the potatoes on a baking tray (ideally lined with parchment or a silicone mat, but not essential). Ensure the potatoes are spread out and not touching.

6. Cook for 40 minutes (but check at 30 minutes) until golden and crispy

7. There’s no need to move or flip the chips, they’ll get nice and crispy from the semolina

8. Add salt after they have cooked

Mushrooms

1. Slice the mushrooms into ‘steaks’- if they fall apart a bit, don’t worry!

2. Heat a decent frying pan until it’s hot- then add 1 tbsp oil and heat through. Season the oil with salt and pepper

3. Add the mushrooms to the hot oil. Weigh them down so they flatten out. A smaller frying pan with a couple of tin cans works well.

4. Fry on a high heat for 4 minutes without moving them

5. Remove the weight and season the top of the mushrooms before flipping (make sure the underneath is good and golden first)

6. Fry on the other side, without moving, for another 4 minutes. Use the weight again if they need further flattening

7. Once both sides are golden and crispy, transfer to an oven dish and keep warm at the bottom of the oven while you make the sauce

8. If using butter, add a chunk towards the end of cooking. Use a spoon to baste the mushrooms with the melting butter


Sauce

1. Use the pan the mushrooms were fried in (don’t clean it)

2. Remove the pan from the heat, away from the flame, and add 100ml of dry vermouth. Return to a medium heat and cook for a few minutes while the alcohol burns off and the liquid reduces. Scrape the bottom of the pan to release any delicious mushroom flavour (the fond)

3. While the vermouth is reducing, add loads and loads of pepper using a pepper grinder- the quantities will depend on your preference but always more than you think! For extra flavour, toast the peppercorns in a dry frying pan before grinding in a pestle & mortar or pepper grinder

4. Reduce the heat to low and add 100ml of dairy or vegan double cream, stir and warm though For a vegan version without cream, use a good plant based milk (that won’t curdle) and a tablespoon of nutritional yeast which will help thicken the sauce and add flavour

5. Taste the sauce- add salt to taste and more pepper if it needs it (it will!)

6. If using butter, add a couple of small chunks and melt into the cream for even more flavour.

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Manchester Urban Diggers are urban community market gardeners based in Greater Manchester where we are making spaces for people to grow food.

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