Cabbage timbale of celeriac & chestnuts with mushrooms in cider cream
This is one of my favourite dishes from our winter menus, richly seasonal and suitable for that big festive dinner coming up. We use fresh local chanterelles when we can get them and king oyster mushrooms when we can’t. Any mushroom will do, however, since there is so much flavour in the dish already, but avoid portobellos or field mushrooms as they will darken the sauce too much.
1 savoy or york cabbage
1 large celeriac
1 tablespoon butter
300g leeks, washed and diced
2 cloves garlic
1 teaspoon fresh thyme
1 teaspoon mustard
2 medium eggs
300g cooked chestnuts, coarsely chopped
2 tablespoons butter
250g mushrooms, thickly sliced or torn
2 small shallots, thinly sliced
250mls cider, reduced to 125mls
Cut the stalk from as many of the cabbage leaves as you will need to line four metal rings of 7or 8cm diameter. Cook the leaves in boiling water until tender, then refresh in cold water.
Peel the celeriac and slice the flesh into pieces 1/2cm thick. Boil these for two minutes, then transfer to a baking sheet, brush with olive oil and roast in a hot oven for five minutes.
Melt one tablespoon of butter in a wide pan and cook the chopped leeks over high heat with the garlic and thyme. When the leeks are tender, if there is a lot of liquid in the pan, pour it off before continuing. Add the mustard and cream and continue cooking for five minutes more. Cool, then add the eggs and chestnuts. Season with salt and pepper.
Line four metal rings with the cabbage leaves so there is a single layer all round and enough overlapping to cover the top. Line the base with celeriac, then press in a layer of the chestnut mix. Repeat this, then finish with a layer of celeriac. Fold over the cabbage leaves and press gently.
Brush the tops with olive oil and cook for 15-20 minutes in a moderate oven until the timbales are firm, occasionally moistening with a splash of stock or water.
Meanwhile, melt the butter in a pan and add the mushrooms and shallots. Cook over moderate heat until the mushrooms are tender and moist. If the dish seems dry, add a little stock or water, then add the cider and boil for half a minute. Add the cream and simmer for a few seconds to thicken the sauce slightly.
To serve, turn the timbales onto a plate, bottoms up, and spoon some mushrooms over each one