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Mushroom & Chestnut Pudding

Servings :
Preparation Time : 45 mins, cooking 5-6 hours - slow cooker 
Difficulty : Moderate 

A slow cooker recipe taken from a book I was given for Christmas. Very tasty, bit longwinded but worth the effort.

Ingredients

Sauce
15g – ½ oz butter
1 tablespoon sunflower oil
1 onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon plain flour
300 ml – ½ pint vegetable stock
5 tablespoons port (I used red wine)
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 teaspoon tomato puree
salt and pepper

Pastry
300g – 10oz self-raising flour
½ teaspoon salt
150g – 5oz vegetable suet
2 tablespoons chopped rosemary leaves
about 200ml – 7 fl oz water

Filling
1 large flat mushroom, sliced
125g – 4oz chestnut mushrooms, sliced
200g – 7 oz vacuum packed whole peeled chestnuts.

For the filling, I used dried chestnuts, soaked in water over night. One chestnut mushroom, sliced and a packet of dried wild mushrooms from Tescos that I soaked in hot water for a couple of hours

Method

If you need to preheat the slow cooker, do so now.

Make the sauce first, heat the butter and oil in a frying pan, and the onion and fry for five minutes, keep stirring. Stir in the flour, and then mix in the stock, port (or red wine), mustard and tomato puree. Season with salt and pepper, bring to the boil, stirring all the while and then take of the heat and put to one side.

Make the pastry. Mix together the flour, salt, suet and rosemary. Gradually add enough cold water to mix a soft but not sticky dough. You may need to add a drip or two more water, if it does get sticky you can work in just a little more self-raising flour.

Knead lightly, then roll out on a floured surface to a circle of about 13 inches across. Cut out a quarter of the circle and put to one side for the top.

Lift the three-quarter pastry into an oiled 2.25pint / 1.25 litre pudding basin and bring the cut edges together, overlapping slightly so that the basic is completely lined with pastry. I needed to squish small sections around the top.

Layer the sauce, mushrooms and chestnuts in the basin, finishing with a layer of sauce.

Pat or roll the remaining pastry into a top the same size as the top of the pudding basic. Dampen the edges of the pastry in the basic with a little water and press the lid on top.

Cover with tin foil, raised slightly in the middle so that it doesn’t touch, and tie in place with a ring of string.

Place in your slow cooker pot, then pour in boiling water into the slow cooker pot to half way up the pudding bowl, put the lid on and cook on high for 5-6 hours.


This recipe came from 200 slow cooker recipes by Sara Lewis. I've tried several others recipes from the book and all have been excellent so far. A variation of the Moroccan seven vegetable stew was very nice.

Hints

Spare pastry can be used as dumplings in other recipes, roll into small balls and drop into stews (with plenty of liquid) for the last twenty minutes of cooking.

The recipe suggests a variation where the chestnuts are replaced with shallots, which sounds like one I'll try.





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