Jerusalem artichokes are a great vegetable but can baffle cooks who aren’t quite sure what to do with them. Their sweet creamy flesh is combined with meaty, earthy mushrooms and smoky Tagine paste to create a dish that would be perfect as part of a Christmas spread, being suitable to be made in advance, or with a piece of roast beef.
20g dried porcini mushrooms
2 tbsp olive oil
500g Jerusalem artichokes, thoroughly scrubbed but not peeled, then cut in half
2 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
Salt and pepper
2 tbsp Tagine paste
500g chestnut mushrooms, cut into halves if small and quarters if large
2 sprigs fresh rosemary, finely chopped
¼ whole nutmeg, grated
125ml white wine
200g crème fraiche
5cm piece horseradish, peeled
Cover the porcini mushrooms with 300ml of boiling water and set aside for 20 minutes.
Heat an oven to 160C.
Place a wide deep pan on a medium heat and when hot add the olive oil, Jerusalem artichokes and garlic. Season with salt and pepper and sauté for 5 minutes, until starting to colour. Add the Tagine paste, rosemary and nutmeg and cook out for 2 minutes, then add the chestnut mushrooms and white wine. Let the wine bubble up and reduce by half.
Strain the porcini mushroom stock into the pan. You can add the mushrooms, but they can sometimes be slightly gritty, so it’s up to you. Make sure to squeeze every drop of liquid from them though. Bring the pan up to a boil and stir so everything is well combined. Cover with a lid or foil and place in the oven for 20 – 25 minutes. If you can’t fit the pan in an oven, turn the heat down so the liquid gently simmers.
Remove from the oven and use a sharp knife to check if the artichokes are cooked. It should be able to reach the centre with no resistance. Check the consistency of the liquid and if it appears a bit thin, place the pan back on the heat and bring back up to gently boil, spooning the liquid over the mushrooms and artichokes till the sauce starts to coat them. Taste and check the seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if required.
When ready to serve, place in a bowl and spoon blobs of the crème fraiche on top then grate the fresh horseradish all over.