The perfect Autumnal family dish,
After what has just been an incredible trip to Estonia I wanted to create a dish that pays homage to the foods I have eaten and the landscape that produces its produce. Estonia is covered by 53 percent forest and with wild mushroom foraging a long standing passion of mine this last dish I bring to you from a mornings successful foraging at the bottom of my treehouse from deep within the Estonian woodland.
Incorporating the perfumed fragrance of dill in the dish was essential after the trip and something I have never used in a stew or indeed with mushrooms before. It works better than I could of hoped, lifting the dish and balancing it with time and place wonderfully.
All wild mushrooms should be cooked and never pick anything unless you know exactly what it is or without the help of a professional. On this note I would however like to add that foraging for wild fungi for me is one of life's greatest pleasures and if you can join a professional guide and head out I recommend everyone give it a try some day.
Fresh wild Mushrooms or shop bought button mushrooms will also do nicely.
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Dice into fat chunks the pork Belly and brown in a large pan with the onions.
Once browned but not burnt add the garlic fill with the stock and bring to a simmer for 2 hours
de seed,peel and cut into thick chunks the pumpkin Pear and apple and add to the stew with the lentils and simmer for 1 more hour.
Season very well with plenty of salt and pepper.
Clean and fry the mushrooms on a medium to high heat in a little oil and plenty of butter for about 5 mins. the mushrooms should brown on the outside and keep their texture, too low a heat and they will stew in their own water. Season with salt and pepper.
Serve in bowls with a generous frond of dill the mushrooms on top and a fresh baked loaf of Rye bread with butter.
I have used Wood Blewits here one of my favourite wild mushrooms, but any mushroom with a firm body will do nicely here, from hedgehogs to ceps, chanterelle even or the humble shop bought button mushrooms would be absolutely fine and delicious.