I realise that I have jumped headfirst into wintery recipes, but since that's what the weather seems to have done, I thought I'd better follow suit. Sorry to those of you who live in places that are still excruciatingly hot (of which I am jealous, please adopt me) because I'm sure you're not ready for a stew recipe, but I'm sure you'll appreciate it eventually. Anyway - mushroom and walnut stew with cheesy cobbler topping. It's essentially a mushroom cobbler, but that doesn't sound nearly as exciting.
I can't believe how good this was. It had exactly the richness and heartiness that I was hoping for (it has wine in it! Wine!). And the cheesy cobbler topping was perfectly fluffy and scone-like, and the perfect thing to go with the thick stew.
This recipe does take a little while to make, but most stews do, and it's worth it for the depth of flavour that you get at the end. You can easily scale it up if you're cooking for a whole family or if you want leftovers (I kind of wish I'd done that, I'd love to have a few portions of this for the freezer for the next time I want a quick dinner... or breakfast... or like, any time. Basically right now).
I'm looking forward to using this same cheesy cobbler topping on other stews in the future. I'm also fantasising about having this stew alongside mashed potato - you can mix and match whatever you like. By the way it'd actually be quicker to make the stew with mash or something similar, because you can skip the whole 'baking' part and serve it up straight from the hob - the only reason it needs to be baked is to cook the cobbler topping. Oh, and it also creates awesome crispy bits around the edge of the pan which are amazing.
I very much recommend you make this next time you're tempted to turn the heating on. It's a lot tastier than a hot water bottle.
- 1tbsp oil
- 1tbsp butter
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 500g mushrooms, diced (keep them fairly chunky)
- 1tsp smoked paprika
- ½ teaspoon dried thyme
- 2tbsp plain flour
- 100ml red wine
- 500ml vegetable stock
- 100g walnuts, roughly chopped
- 100g self-raising flour
- ½ teaspoon salt
- Black pepper
- 3tbsp cold butter, cut into chunks
- 65g cheddar cheese, grated
- 1 egg
- 35ml milk
- 3tbsp parsley, for garnish (optional, but I love the freshness it adds to the rich stew)
- Heat the oil and butter in a large pan or casserole dish (if possible, use one that is both hob- and oven-proof), and cook the onion and garlic over a medium heat for 5 minutes until fairly soft. Add the mushrooms, and continue to cook for a further 5-10 minutes until all the vegetables are well cooked.
- Turn the heat down fairly low, and add the paprika, thyme and flour. Cook, stirring constantly, for one more minute and then add the red wine. Scrape any residue off the bottom of the pan, and turn the heat up a little to bring the mixture to a simmer. Simmer for a few minutes, and then add the stock and walnuts. If serving straight from the hob (e.g. alongside mashed potato), simmer for at least 10 more minutes to intensify the flavours.
- If using the cobbler topping, heat the oven to 200°C (Gas Mark 6 / 400°F).
- To make the cobbler topping, season the self-raising flour with salt and plenty of black pepper. Use your fingertips to rub in the butter until the mixture resembled breadcrumbs - don't overwork it. Mix in the grated cheddar.
- Lightly whisk the egg with the milk, and then add this to the flour mixture. It should be fairly wet - if it looks too dry, add a dash more milk.
- Dollop the cobbler mixture onto the top of the mushroom stew, and brush lightly with a little more milk. Bake, uncovered for around 45 minutes, or until the cobbler topping is golden brown and a knife comes out clean.
- Top with freshly chopped parsley to serve.