Escabeche is very popular in Spain and is a very old cooking and preservation technique. Widely used to preserve meat or fish in the days before refrigeration, it is still used a lot today and even features on the menus of top Spanish restaurants. Escabeche is both the method and the resulting sauce consisting of oil, vinegar and seasonings, usually black peppercorns and bay. The idea is to cook your meat, fish or in this case mushrooms in the sauce and then allow the flavours to mingle and mature, before enjoying slowly over time. It is a great way to use abundant stocks. Also if the food is stored in an airtight jar or container, it will last considerably longer allowing you to enjoy that particular item over a month or two if you can resist that long! Mushrooms in escabeche:
10 minutes preparation
45-50 minutes cooking
8-10 servings, depending on use
500g white mushrooms
1 large white onion or 5 shallots
4 cloves garlic, peeled but left whole
600ml extra virgin olive oil
250ml sherry vinegar
300ml white wine
1 bay leaf
1 tsp black peppercorns
1 tsp salt
1 tsp picked thyme leaves
- Wash the mushrooms and trim the ends off the bottom but leave the stalk on as much as you can. Cut into slices of about ½-1cm – remember they will reduce and set aside.
- Peel the onion or shallots and slice finely. Heat about 5 tablespoons of the oil in a heavy based saucepan and sauté the onion over a low heat until soft and translucent.
- Add the vinegar to the pan, and gently cook for about 10 minutes until the liquid has reduced by half and the onion begins to caramelise.
- Add the wine and the water and continue cooking for another 10 minutes or so until again, the liquid is reduced.
- Now add the mushrooms, the garlic cloves, the rest of the oil and the seasonings. Gently stri and leave to simmer gently for around 25 minutes.
- Check the seasoning and remove from the heat. Allow the escabeche to cool completely before transferring to a jar or other storage dish.
- Leave in the fridge to use at your leisure, in fact it is best not to try any for at least two days to allow the flavours to mingle deliciously.
These mushrooms are a fantastic tapas dish served with fresh bread or served on top of salads for added depth and dimension. Enjoy!