sausage and chestnut stuffed mushrooms

last winter i bought several packets of chestnuts and then promptly forgot about them. this year i’ve been thinking about them but didn’t get much further until i saw this nigel slater recipe for mushrooms stuffed sausages and chestnuts.

the dish tastes absolutely gorgeous but i think the quantities are a bit odd – i had a lot of stuffing left. the recipe kind of pre-empts this by saying that any excess can be shaped into balls and placed around the mushrooms in the roasting tray. my mixture didn’t hold together well enough to do this and anyway i had a better plan for it – sausage rolls!

i added beaten egg to the leftover mix so that it would hold together and knocked up a batch of thirty or so mini sausage rolls, which we’ll be eating later in the week at a pre-xmas/birthday bash. i know they’ll be good and i can’t wait!

nigel slater’s chestnut stuffed mushrooms (serves 3-4)

6 large mushrooms

80g butter

3 tablespoons of olive oil

6 sprigs thyme, picked

3 tablespoons of madeira

2 medium onions

6 lincolnshire sausages

2 sprigs rosemary, picked

200g breadcrumbs

200g cooked chestnuts, chopped

pre heat the oven to 180c.

remove the stalks from the mushrooms to allow them to be stuffed and lay in a large oven dish. place a little knob of butter in each one and then drizzle the olive oil all over. sprinkle the thyme into the mushrooms and finish with a few generous glugs of madeira wine. pop them in the oven for 20 minutes. chop the mushrooms stalks and set aside.

now for the stuffing, roughly chop your onions and soften in a frying pan with a little butter till golden. add the shopped mushroom stalks then remove the sausage skin and break the meat into the pan. tear in the remaining herbs, add the breadcrumbs and allow to cook through slightly. chop the chestnuts and add to the pan and mix the contents well.

after about 20 minutes remove the mushrooms and generously heap your stuffing into the mushrooms, piling it as high as you dare. don’t worry about there being extra stuffing, simply shape them into little balls and place them around the mushrooms.

now return the dish to the oven for a further half hour. serve when the stuffing is crisp and golden.