Recipe: Mushroom and fennel ragout
As an alternative to the classic meat stews, try a mushroom ragout. It's quicker to make but still offers that satisfying, warming fullness we associate with a regular stew. High in protein, mushrooms are a good vegetarian alternative.
Fronds from 1 bulb of fennel (the rest of the fennel is used in the ragout)
200g self-raising flour
pinch of salt
Pinch of cracked black pepper
100g grated cheddar cheese
150ml of milk
1 Tbsp Dijon mustard
Handful of thyme
Preheat oven to 180C.
Remove the fennel fronds from the bulb and chop finely. Whisk the mustard into the milk.
Place flour, butter, pepper and salt into a bowl. Rub butter and flour together until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs (or use a food processor).
Add half the grated cheese and fennel fronds and mix through.
Form a well in the centre of the mixture and add the milk, kneed gently to form a soft dough.
Transfer dough onto a floured board and press the dough out with hands (rather than using a rolling pin) until it is about 2cm thick. Use a round cookie cutter to cut out the scones or slice the scones, it should make eight.
Put scones aside till ragout is done.
MUSHROOM AND FENNEL RAGOUT
800g white or brown button mushrooms, washed and halved
1 large fennel bulb
1 tsp fennel seeds
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 tsp Dijon mustard
150ml sour cream
Quarter the fennel bulb, remove core and thinly slice.
Add a few tablespoons of olive oil to a large oven proof frying over a medium to high heat.
Add the halved mushrooms and fry till they go brown and caramelized on the edges. You may need to do this in two batches if your pan isn't big enough.
Lower the heat to medium and add the garlic, sliced fennel and fennel seeds and cook for about five minutes, stirring several times.
Add the sour cream, water and mustard, stir and simmer for five minutes.
Plop the scones on top of the ragout, sprinkle with the rest of the cheese and bake for 20 minutes.
If your frying pan can't be put into the over transfer ragout to a casserole dish before putting the scones on top.
Serve with some steamed green beans.
For more recipes like this visit Pease Pudding