Makes – 750ml (1¼-pint) jar
- 150g (5½oz) salted butter
- 2 shallots, finely diced
- 1kg (2¼lb) mixed mushrooms, roughly chopped
- 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
- pinch of grated nutmeg
- 4 sprigs of thyme, leaves chopped, plus 1 sprig to garnish
- 50ml (3 tbsp) apple brandy or sherry
- sea salt and cracked black pepper
- large frying pan or cast-iron skillet
- small saucepan or butterpan
- 750ml (1¼-pint) glass jar, sterilized
Potted Mushrooms Method
- Melt 75g (2½oz) of the butter in a large frying pan or skillet and add your shallots, mushrooms, and garlic. Cook over a high heat until the shallots have softened and the mushrooms have started to brown (fig. a).
- Meanwhile, slowly melt the remaining butter in a small saucepan or butterpan for 5–10 minutes and skim offthe white, foamy milk solids from the surface using a slotted spoon. Set aside the clarified butter, away from the direct heat but keeping it warm so that it doesn’t set while the mushrooms are cooking.
- Reduce the heat under your mushrooms and add in the nutmeg and chopped thyme. Season to taste with about 1 teaspoon of salt and a pinch of black pepper.
- After 5–10 minutes, add the brandy or sherry and flambé to burn off the alcohol. Then remove the mushrooms from the heat and pour into a glass jar (fig. b).
- Press down the mushroom mixture with a spoon to expel any air pockets. Smooth the top and then pour over a generous layer of the clarified butter (fig. c).
- Garnish the top of the clarified butter with a sprig of thyme. Allow to cool so the butter sets to form an impermeable barrier. Store in a cool cupboard for up to 4 weeks. After the butter seal has been broken, keep refrigerated and consume within 1 week.
- You can blitz the mushrooms into a spreadable paste before potting, but I like the rustic texture of mushrooms on toast.
- Make clarified butter in a large batch and store for up to 6 months at room temperature or for 1 year in the fridge. If stored at cooler temperatures it will solidify, so you will need to warm it up to liquefy it again before pouring into pots
- You can blitz dried porcini mushrooms into a powder and add to warm clarified butter to make a flavoured version. Cook over a low heat for 3–4 minutes to release the flavours and allow to cool as usual. This flavoured butter can be used for all kinds of potting.
Recipes extracted from The Artisan Kitchen by James Strawbridge, Published by DK Books, RRP $49.99 AUD/ $55 NZD