I found this recipe in The Sunday Times. It’s a Marcus Wareing creation. He’s a chef who is described as a ‘perfectionist’.
In my mind that means he is incredibly scary and has no sense of humour. I suppose you can’t have a sense of humour if you are a professional chef. I mean think about them – Gordon Ramsay, Marco Pierre White, Raymond Blanc – they aren’t exactly a laugh a minute are they; in fact, even with that happy-chappy exterior, you know Jamie Oliver didn’t build a multi-million pound empire by calling everyone ‘mate’.
And now it turns out that our very own Nigella has been cooking up more than just chocolate soufflé. I personally find it hard to believe that she was whacked out of her head whilst presenting Nigellissema, but it might go some way to explaining why she has a permanent look of bliss on her face.
Anyway back to Marcus, a very serious chef who doesn’t smile. Here is his Mushroom Cobbler.
As I noted in the recipe, Cobblers were created by the early settlers of North America. With no suet around they came up with an alternative method of topping stews and puddings, making biscuit-style pastries that looked like a cobbled street once cooked. So here we go…
For the Cobblers
- 175g self-raising flour
- 5g baking powder
- 30g cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 tbsp chopped tarragon
- 1 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp black pepper
- 100g cold butter, grated
- 2 free-range egg yolks, beaten some water, for glazing
- 1 litre milk
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 onion, peeled and halved
- 5 cloves
- 2 sprigs of thyme
- 75g butter
- 75g plain flour
- 100g cheddar cheese, grated
- Grated nutmeg
- 1 punnet large flat mushrooms
- 1 punnet oyster mushrooms
- 1 punnet chestnut mushrooms
- olive oil
- 1 pack baby spinach, washed
- 3 cloves garlic, chopped
First make the cobbler pastry. Add all the ingredients to a bowl, grating the butter in and mix with a few tablespoons of water to create a ball of dough.
Wrap in clingfilm and put in the fridge for an hour.
Now make the cheese sauce.
Put the milk in a pan, add the onion, thyme, cloves and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer and leave for 5 mins. Then take off the heat and rest for half an hour.
Melt the butter, add the flour and stir and cook on a low heat for a few mins.
Add the milk, a bit at a time, stirring the sauce continuously.
Add the cheese and nutmeg, stir and leave to the side.
Chop the mushrooms up and fry in a large pan in some oil until the mushroom liquid has mostly evaporated.
Chuck in the spinach and garlic and continue to cook until it has wilted down.
Pour over the cheese sauce and stir.
Roll out the pastry and cut out circles about 2 inches in diameter.
Spoon the mushrooms into a large dish and top with the cobbler pastry. Brush over with egg wash.
Cook in the oven at 180 centigrade for about 20 mins. Done.