Despite the fact that we celebrated the shortest day last week and dreamt of spring skiing and a returning to summer, I found myself yesterday subject to a very cool winter blast .
Today the sky is clear and frost lies heavily on the ground and, as the winter sun streams into my kitchen, I am cooking both to warm me now and give comfort and shared happiness later.
This is another delicious slow cooked comfort food for these bone chilling days that also comes back again the next day tasting even better.
Use this as a substantial vegetarian main with a platter of roast vegetables and some lightly steamed green vegetables to the side, or as a comforting side to a steak with a big green salad. (Members of my family are beginning to think there is a vegetarian plot happening in their midst, so tonight I will distract them with a steak!)
MUSHROOM, PEARL BARLEY AND PARSNIP ROSTI PIE
Serves four as part of a main meal and can easily be doubled or altered to fit the size of your cooking vessel.
Pre heat oven to 170 -180’c
Begin by rinsing and cooking the pearl barley in a pot of lightly salted water with a sprig of rosemary, thyme and bay if you want. This will take approximately 15 to 20 minutes. Drain and put aside once cooked.
Meanwhile heat a large pan with a tablespoon of olive oil and equivalent of butter (or two tablespoons of olive oil) and saute the onion until they are golden brown.
Add garlic and cook briefly, taking care not to burn the garlic,
Add mushrooms and continue over a high heat until they are just cooked.
Add mustard, Worcestershire sauce,thyme, stock, cream, pearl barley and allow this to bubble away gently.
Meanwhile in a largish bowl grate your parsnips and add salt, pepper and 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil. Toss this all together thoroughly.
Tip your mushroom mix into your baking dish and pile all of the parsnip rosti on top.
Place this in the oven and bake for approximately one hour