I picked some beautiful “Chicken of the Woods” - a fungus which somehow looks both prehistoric and futuristic all at once, then set about finding a recipe that I could use it in. This one was delicious, even after 3 hrs of slow cooking, it still held it’s lovely soft meaty texture. I adapted this from a recipe I found on KitchenSanctuary.com and made enough for 4 adults.
If you don’t eat meat, this would be delicious without pork, just use more mushrooms. you don’t need to cook for quite as long either. Vegans can substitute oatly creme fraiche in place of double cream. N.B. Please don’t pick wild mushrooms unless you know what you’re doing, they can be deadly!
2 tbsp rapeseed oil
300 g diced free range pork
salt and black pepper
1 onion - peeled and chopped
2 celery stalks - chopped small
300-400g mushrooms (I used chicken of the woods, oyster mushrooms and brown chestnut mushrooms)
small handful dried mushrooms
2 carrots - peeled and chopped
250 ml dry farmhouse cider
1tbsp grainy mustard (German or Dijon)
400 ml stock (I use Marigold vegetable bouillon)
½ tsp dried thyme
100 ml double cream
Preheat the oven to 160C. If you have a casserole dish that can be used on the job, use that throughout, if not then pop a lidded dish in the oven to warm now.
On the hob: Heat 1 1/2 tbsp of the oil in your casserole or in a large frying pan. Add the pork, season and brown on all sides.
Turn the heat down to medium and add in the onion and celery. Cook, stirring occasionally until the onion softens.
Add the mushrooms and cook for a further two minutes, then add the carrots, cider, stock, mustard and dried thyme. Turn up the heat and bring to a gentle simmer. Stir and scrape up any bits than may have stuck to the bottom of the pan. Place a lid on it (or tip into pre-warmed dish), and place in the oven for 3 hours, until the pork flakes apart when you press it with a fork. Check a couple of times during the last hour of cooking and add a splash of water or stock if it's starting to look a little dry.
Remove the casserole from the oven and stir in the cream.
Serve with potatoes or spätzle. Mustard greens, Savoy cabbage or purple sprouting broccoli would all make great accompaniments.