Our kitchen garden cook reveals her favourite recipes with delicious black truffles.
“Feeling unseasonably decadent, I managed to get my hands on a few black truffles this week. I’d love to say that my spaniels unearthed them, but they came from a very generous friend, via Fortnum & Mason. I had one truffle left over after I’d cooked the dishes below, which is infusing a bottle of vodka as we speak”
Pancetta- and thyme-roasted pheasants with stuffing and truffled potato dauphinoise (serves 4)
For the stuffing
A splash of olive oil
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic
2 rashers bacon
2 handfuls freshly chopped herbs, such as parsley, thyme and sage
Juice and zest of 1 lemon
50g hazelnuts, roughly chopped
50g almonds, roughly chopped
75g dried apricots
300g fresh sourdough breadcrumbs
4 large carrots
Half a medium butternut squash
300ml hot chicken stock
2 x 1kg pheasants
50g butter, softened
A small bunch of lemon thyme
4 slices pancetta
For the truffled potato dauphinoise
500ml double cream
3 cloves garlic, crushed
1 black truffle, shaved
Preheat your oven to 180˚C/350˚F/gas mark 4.
To make the stuffing, heat a splash of olive oil in a pan and gently fry the onion and garlic in it. Slice the bacon into lardons and add them to the pan. Fry until cooked. Throw in the herbs, fry for a minute, then add the remaining ingredients. Cook until the breadcrumbs are lightly browned, then set aside.
Cut the carrots and butternut squash into large chunks and peel the shallots. Arrange them all in a roasting dish that’s also big enough for the pheasants. Pour the hot chicken stock and Port over them and scatter with lemon thyme.
Wipe the cavities of the birds out with kitchen roll and rub softened butter all over them, inside (as best you can) and out. Spoon the stuffing into the cavity and then lay the slices of pancetta over the breasts. Arrange the pheasants in the roasting tin.
Peel the potatoes and slice them as thinly as you can, then add the crushed garlic to the cream. Arrange the potatoes in a buttered dish, seasoning each layer as you go, and add just enough of the cream to cover them. Dot the top with butter and cook in the preheated oven for 45–50 minutes. Put the pheasants in to cook at the same time they’ll take between 50 and 60 minutes and the juices should run clear when they’re done.
Once the potatoes are cooked, sprinkle the top with the black-truffle shavings. To serve, remove the pheasant breasts and legs and arrange on plates. Add the vegetables, stuffing and potatoes, then strain the roasting juices through a sieve and pour them over your dishes.
Homemade tagliatelle with butter and truffles
Pour 500g of ‘00’ flour into a bowl. Make a well in the centre and crack in five eggs. Beat the eggs and incorporate them into the flour until everything comes together to form a dough. Knead until smooth, wrap in clingfilm and chill in the fridge for at least an hour, before using a pasta machine to roll it out into tagliatelle. Cook in simmering salted water for a few minutes, drain and serve drizzled with sage-leaf-infused butter. Shave black truffles over the top and grate some Parmesan onto the plate. Serve with salad.
Eggs Benedict with truffled eggs
Pop a whole black truffle into a box of six eggs and leave it in your fridge for a couple of days the eggs will become magically infused with the truffle flavour. Crack three separate egg yolks into a food processor, add a good squeeze of lemon and seasoning. Melt 250g butter, turn the processor on and trickle the melted butter into it slowly. Blend until the sauce has thickened. Keep warm. Poach the truffle-infused eggs in simmering water for about three minutes each. Toast and butter some muffins and arrange a slice of ham on top of each, followed by the poached egg. Pour the cheat’s hollandaise sauce over them, then sprinkle with chopped chives and some black-truffle shavings.
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