Mushrooms Arménienne

I first tasted this recipe at High Bullen Hotel in Chittlehamholt in 1974. Then, by chance, I bought a recipe book “The Good Cook’s Guide” when it was withdrawn from Devon Library Services and found the recipe. After following it religiously a couple of times I relaxed and blithely made my own way.

For FFFY I have gone back to the original for the quantities and once again have taken no short cuts. The result is a blend of textures and flavours that have to be experienced to be appreciated; I find it hard to describe the way the mushrooms take up the olive oil, bacon, garlic and red wine to create a total blend of mouth-watering deliciousness.

Serves 5

  • 1lb button mushrooms, sliced
  • 5oz streaky bacon or lardons, chopped
  • 60ml olive oil
  • pepper
  • 235ml red wine
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • salt if required (depending on the saltiness of the bacon)

Garnish suggestion

  • red pepper
  • celery
  • walnut halves
  • parsley

Heat the olive oil in a deep frying pan until it begins to smoke. Add the mushrooms and fry until they are just brown. Add the bacon and a couple of twist of pepper, fry for a couple of minutes to render the fat from the bacon. Add the red wine and crushed garlic.

With the heat still high reduce the liquid by half, stirring occasionally, then correct the seasoning and allow to cool.

Place in a serving dish and garnish just before serving. It will keep well for a couple of days in the fridge.

To garnish your could use walnuts, straight from the shell if possible.

Scorch segments of red pepper over a gas burner until the skin is black and quickly scrape off the skin before slicing the flesh into thin lengths.

Calery can be cut it into 2 ½” -3″ lengths, then sliced finely along the length to within ½” of one end and put in a bowl of chilled water. The celery will be held together by the end (like the base of an onion) and the sliced flesh will contort it amazing shapes.

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