How to make wild mushroom, chorizo and sauerkraut stew

As mushroom foraging comes into season, the earthy flavours are bold enough for stews and they keep their meaty texture, even after hours of cooking, says Beverley Hicks

Thursday 04 October 2018 16:52 BST
Ease into the colder weather with a hearty stew
Ease into the colder weather with a hearty stew (Photography by Beverley Hicks)

Foraging for wild mushrooms can be a bit of a dangerous business unless you really know what you’re doing.

If you’re a little unsure, the best thing to do is to wait until the season is upon us – just about now – and get them from your local farmers market or supermarket.

Now that summer is, sadly, a distant memory, it’s best to ease into the colder weather and shorter days with the likes of hearty stews filled with the pleasures that autumn brings.

The earthy, woody flavour of mushrooms works so well in this type of dish and the fungi holds up very well, keeping their meaty texture, even after hours of cooking.

And because of its rich, complex flavours, this dish will need nothing more than to be served with some plain boiled rice and plenty of warm crusty bread to mop up the rich accompanying sauce.

(Beverley Hicks
(Beverley Hicks (Beverley Hicks)

Wild mushroom, chorizo and sauerkraut stew

Serves 4-6

15g dried porcini mushrooms
Boiling water
½-1 tbsp rapeseed oil
2 red onions, peeled and sliced into half moons
5 fat garlic cloves, finely sliced
5 slices streaky bacon, cut into 2cm pieces
220g chorizo sausage, sliced (or any other sausage)
1 tsp smoked sweet paprika
1 tsp dried thyme
½ tsp fennel seeds
200g mixed fresh wild mushrooms, cleaned and sliced
100g rinsed and drained sauerkraut
1 tbsp butter
400g tinned tomatoes
1 vegetable stock cube
Zest of 1 orange
½ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Soak the dried porcini mushrooms for 5-10 minutes in enough boiling water to completely cover them. When softened, remove from the soaking liquid and chop finely. They will have produced a dark, flavourful liquid that should not be thrown away.

However, while soaking, the mushrooms release grit which falls to the bottom of the cup, so strain the liquid through a coffee filter or paper towel into a measuring jug. Make up to 300ml with cold water and put aside to be used later in the recipe.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Toss in the onions and sauté until soft. Add the sliced garlic and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the bacon and chorizo to the pan and cook until just browned. Sprinkle in the paprika, thyme and fennel seeds and mix well.

Tip in the chopped reconstituted porcini mushrooms and fresh wild mushrooms and continue to cook for another 2-3 minutes. After rinsing the sauerkraut really well, drain and add to the pan along with the butter and stir until the butter has melted.

Pour in the topped up mushroom water and tinned tomatoes, add the stock cube, orange zest and freshly ground black pepper then give the whole thing a good mix. Bring to the boil then reduce the heat to the lowest it can go and simmer for 35-40 minutes with the lid half on. Check every now and then and if the stew is looking too dry top up with a little hot water.

Taste the stew and adjust the seasoning if necessary. Serve with plain boiled rice and plenty of warm crusty bread.

Follow Beverley @littlechelseakitchen

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