Maria was taught to cook by her father using a commercial wood-burning 3 metre stove. He used Escoffier’s Ma Cuisine cookbook to teach her the classic way to build a sauce to be used for steaks "a la carte". Maria adapted the recipe to include the addition of apples, and enhanced it with calvados as the spirit, however you could use wine or an alternative spirit, such as brandy.
- 2 tbsp butter
- 80 ml (⅓ cup) olive oil
- 1 tbsp chopped garlic
- ½ cup finely chopped French shallot or brown onion
- 1 red apple, chopped
- 350 g Swiss brown mushrooms, sliced (see Note)
- 1 tsp sea salt
- ¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper
- 1 tbsp chopped sage
- 60 ml (¼ cup) Calvados (apple brandy)
- 60 ml (¼ cup) chicken stock
- 160 ml (⅓ cup) cream
- minced parsley (optional)
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Melt the butter in a large non-stick frying pan (skillet) over medium-high heat. Add the olive oil and then the garlic, giving it a good stir.
Add the shallot, followed by a good stir. Add the apple and cook for 2–3 minutes, then add the mushroom and the salt, pepper and sage. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, until the liquid evaporates and mushrooms are tender.
Add the Calvados and cook, stirring occasionally, for a further 2 minutes. Add the chicken stock and return to a simmer.
Pour in the cream in a circular motion from the outside into the pan. Cook until cream has integrated into the sauce and mushroom. Remove from heat, add the parsley, if using, and serve. Serve with Matthew's roast chicken.
• You can use a mixture of any mushrooms you find at your greengrocer or farmers’ market.