This is a great way to start a classic dinner party menu, easy enough to do and it not only has a heady, deep, strong and seductive flavour, but a smashing, rich texture – overall we’re talking about a dish that's utterly, wickedly moreish. Serve these mushrooms up in wide-rimmed bowls with ciabatta slices cut on the length and brushed with oil, herbs and sprinkled with salt before being toasted off on a grill-pan until they’re crunchy on the outside but still have a soft heart. And if you're feeling totally decadent, mix some fine-cut fresh dill into a couple of tablespoons of cream cheese and whip it before serving as a spread for that crispy warm ciabatta!
A couple of ingredient notes: 500ml red wine is about two cups. 750g button mushrooms is three UAE punnets: do try and get the smaller ones. I crush garlic by mashing it with the edge of a knife and then giving it a lazy chop or two so you end up with largeish lumps of mashed up garlic. Just because, that’s why. If you don’t have truffle oil, don’t worry. It’s still delicious! Altogether you’re serving a very generous four indeed.
- 500ml red wine
- 750g button mushrooms, de-stemmed and halved
- 70g pancetta in cubes
- 1 tbsp runny honey
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 tsp salt
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed
- Fresh thyme
- 2 tsp plain flour
- 1 tsp mixed herbs
- 25g butter
- 2 tbsp oil
- 1 tbsp truffle oil
You’ll ideally need a lidded frying pan. Reduce the wine by a little more than half: a good ten minute rolling boil should see you almost there. Reserve this. Melt the butter together with the olive oil over a high heat and then sling in the mushrooms. Give them a minute or two to start browning and then add the pancetta and the garlic and keep everything moving until the mushrooms have browned all round. Add the truffle oil now and fry it up for a few seconds before adding the flour and the mixed herbs. Mix everything up and let it fry off for a short time and then add the wine. Bring the heat down to low and add the honey, salt, bay and a few sprigs of the fresh thyme.
Cover the pan and leave to cook, stirring occasionally, for ten minutes and then stand to cool, still covered: then reheat when you’re ready to serve. Garnish with a sprig of fresh thyme just to be posh.
The amount of red wine specified in this recipe is scientifically calculated to leave a glass for the cook. Sneaky, huh?