Melanie Johnson has warming ways with wild mushrooms.

Foraging for mushrooms is a dangerous business if, like me, you don’t know exactly what you’re doing. Luckily, I have a friend who does, so we gathered a selection of varieties from different places and came home with a feast. The stroganoff below could be made entirely with mushrooms to celebrate their flavours, but I’m sure carnivores will prefer the meaty version.

Beef-and-wild-mushroom stroganoff with spinach dumplings (serves 4)

Ingredients
Olive oil
1 onion, sliced
400g beef sirloin, sliced
and seasoned
100ml red wine
300g wild mushrooms
2tspn paprika
500ml beef stock
100ml sour cream
2 gherkins, sliced
400g spinach
350g mascarpone
3 egg yolks, beaten
125g plain flour
A knob of butter, melted
150g Parmesan

Method
Fry the onion in a splash of olive oil. Add the seasoned beef and fry until lightly browned, then pour in the red wine, followed by the mushrooms, paprika and beef stock. Simmer gently until the beef
is cooked through and the flavours have come together, for about 20 minutes. Stir the sour cream through the stroganoff at the end and add the sliced gherkins.

While the stroganoff is cooking, make the dumplings. Chop the spinach very finely and mix with the mascarpone, beaten egg yolks and 100g of the flour in a bowl. Season really well. Shape the mixture into dumplings, then roll them in the remaining flour. Refrigerate for half an hour.

Bring a pan of water to a boil and drop the dumplings into it. Cook them for about five minutes before removing with a slotted spoon, brushing with melted butter and sprinkling with grated Parmesan.
Serve the stroganoff with the dumplings on the side and plain rice.

 

More ways with wild mushrooms

Shoot-day breakfast sandwiches
Toast slices of sourdough bread, then spread one slice with pesto and the other with mayonnaise. Fill with a fried egg, crispy bacon and wild mushrooms sautéed with herbs and rocket. Give the hungry guns a sandwich each before the shoot day begins.

Wild-mushroom tarts
Cut four circles out of a pre-rolled sheet of puff pastry and transfer to a baking sheet. Fry wild mushrooms with garlic, butter and parsley. When cooked, stir 2 tablespoons cream cheese through them and spoon the mushroom mixture onto the centre of the pastry circles. Brush the edges with beaten egg and bake for about 20 minutes. Serve with salad leaves.

* More recipes from our kichen garden cook