This recipe seems and sounds too simple to be true, but sometimes the best dishes are those that allow their ingredients to sing at the tops of their voices without too much complicated fannying around drowning them out. I love a mushroom, especially when I can find exotic varieties reduced to clear in the corner shops and supermarkets, taking them home and drying them out low and slow in the bottom of the oven to use again at a later date. It is these dried mushrooms that make up the mushroom stock in this recipe, but if you don’t have any, just cook fresh ones for a little longer than the recipe suggests. These pair perfectly with a pile of buttery mashed potato, or fried rice, or my Moonshine Mash.
Serves 2 at 33p each
10g dried mushrooms, 21p (85p/400g, Basics, and dried. Dried weight equivalent to 10× fresh weight)
a pinch of salt, <1p (40p/750g)
1tbsp dark soy sauce, 10p (£1/150ml)
a small onion, 9p (90p/1.5kg, Basics)
2 fat cloves of garlic, 3p (35p/2 bulbs, Basics)
100g fresh mushrooms, 21p (85p/400g, Basics)
1 tbsp cooking oil or butter, 2p (£3/3l)
First make yourself a mushroom stock, by popping the dried mushrooms in a saucepan and covering with a little water. Finely slice half the onion and toss it in, along with a pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and reduce to a simmer for 30 minutes, until the liquid is rich and dark and ominous looking. You may need to top the water up periodically to stop it from all evaporaing away, which would be a terrible shame!
When the stock is ready, remove from the heat and pour it into a mug or jug, and set to one side.
Peel and roughly chop your garlic cloves, and the remaining onion, and toss into the now-empty saucepan with the oil. Don’t worry about cleaning the pan, any lingering flavours from the stock will only enhance this step. Slice or break up the mushrooms and add those too. Cook on a medium heat for a few minutes until the vegetables start to soften, then pour over the stock. Bring back to the boil, and reduce to a simmer for a few minutes more.
Finish with the soy sauce, stir through, and serve.
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