Potato gratin with morel mushrooms
Potatisgratäng med murklor
This is a delicious dish which goes well with grilled or roasted meat or a hearty stew. The crispy potatoes at the top give way to gorgeous melt-in-the-mouth tasty potatoes, onions and morel mushrooms. A definite favourite. John Duxbury
• You can buy fresh morels in April and May at good food markets.
• If you can't find any fresh morels, use 20 g dried morels instead. Simply soak them in warm water for 30 minutes, rinse thoroughly, squeeze dry and cut in half. Cook as fresh, but sauté more slowly.
• Don't pick fresh morels unless you are an experienced mushroom picker. In some places a similar looking mushroom can be found growing, called a False Morel, that is poisonous even when cooked. With a mortality rate of around 14%, it will be bad news if you eat one!
|15 g||(1 tbsp)||butter, softened|
|100 g||(4 oz)||fresh morels|
|2 tbsp||olive oil|
|1||clove of garlic, finely chopped|
|1||red onion, finely sliced|
|25 g||(1 oz)||parsley, roughly chopped|
|salt and freshly ground black pepper|
|800 g||(1¾ lb)||potatoes, peeled|
|300 ml||(1¼ cups)||chicken stock|
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F, gas 4, fan 160°C).
2. Using half the butter, grease a gratin dish, about 20 cm (8”) square.
3. Trim the morels and slice in half lengthways. Using a small brush, clean their hollow cores, and then brush them clean. If they are very gritty, rinse them in a bowl of water and pat them dry on kitchen paper.
4. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan. Gently sauté the garlic and onion until soft (about 10 minutes).
5. Add the morels. If using fresh ones, fry briskly until lightly cooked (about 5 minutes), otherwise continue to fry gently until tender (about 10 minutes). Mix in the parsley and seasoning.
6. Finely slice the potatoes into rounds about 2 mm (1/8”) thick. Arrange a single layer of slices on the bottom of the dish, lightly season, then sprinkle with half of the morel mixture before continuing with another layer of potatoes. Slowly pour in some stock, so that it can seep down around the sliced potatoes. Add the remaining half of the morel mixture and then finish off with two layers of overlapping potatoes. Add the rest of the stock and dot with the remaining butter. Put the gratin in the oven.
7. After 30 minutes, turn the oven up to 200°C (400°F, gas 6, fan 180°C) and cook for a further 30 minutes or until the potatoes are soft and the top is golden and crisp.
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