Wild mushroom, potato & pancetta gratin
- Preparation and cooking time
- plus infusing
- Serves 6-8 as a side, 4 as a main course
- 6 garlic cloves
- 1 onion , halved
- 3 bay leaves
- 3 thyme sprigs , plus a sprinkle of leaves
- 600ml pot double cream
- 600ml whole milk
- 140g diced pancetta
- 25g butter , plus a knob
- 250g wild mushrooms , roughly chopped after cleaning
- 1 ¼kg medium potato (we used Maris Piper)
- 1 whole nutmeg
- green salad , to serve (optional)
- STEP 1
Put the garlic cloves, onion, bay leaves, thyme, double cream and milk in a pan. Bring slowly to the boil over a low heat, partially cover with a lid and cook for 20-30 mins until the onion is tender and the cream mixture slightly thickened. Turn off and leave everything to infuse for 1 hr.
- STEP 2
Strain the cream mixture into a jug (or bowl) and discard the herbs. Put the garlic cloves and onion in a food processor or blender and whizz until smooth – add a drop of the cream if it helps. Stir the paste back into the rest of the cream and season with 2 tsp salt.
- STEP 3
Put the pancetta in a cold frying pan and cook gently, over a low-medium heat so the fat melts into the pan, until the pancetta is really crispy. Lift out with a slotted spoon, add the butter and mushrooms and turn up the heat, frying the mushrooms, until golden and dry.
- STEP 4
Leave the skins on the potatoes and slice as thinly as possible. Grease a large baking dish with a little more butter. Layer up the potato slices, scattering over some of the cooked pancetta, the mushrooms and a little freshly grated nutmeg and pepper as you go. Finish by slowly pouring over the cream so that it settles among all the layers, then scatter over a few more thyme leaves. Cover with foil.
- STEP 5
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Bake the gratin for 1 hr, then remove the foil and bake for 35-45 mins more until golden and crispy on top. Poke a knife in to check the potatoes are tender, then leave for 10-15 mins to settle, before serving with a salad, if you like.