This is a tasty little number to have in your fridge and is good with any number of things; it works well with both meat and fish and is also good on a piece of toast for breakfast. I love it because it's very savoury in its flavour.
- 30 g dried porcini
- nearly boiling water to cover
- 50 g butter
- 3 medium eschalots, thinly sliced
- 2 medium garlic cloves, finely sliced
- 2 tsp thyme, picked
- 200 g butter, diced and softened to room temperature
- squeeze of lemon
- salt and white pepper
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.
Soaking time 20 minutes
Place the dried porcini in a heatproof container and just cover with almost boiling water to soften and rehydrate. Let them sit for about 10 minutes, giving them an occasional stir.
Strain the water, making sure you keep it and then finely chop your porcini. Set aside.
In a medium pan over gentle heat, melt the 50 g of butter before adding the eschallots, garlic and thyme. Cook, stirring often for 3-4 minutes. You want all the ingredients to soften but not caramelise. Season.
Add the chopped porcini, stir, let it cook for another minute or so, then add the reserved porcini soaking water. At this stage, continue cooking over a gentle heat, until you're left with a nice mix that's still slightly moist.
Turn the mix out into a mixing bowl and leave it to cool almost completely.
Once cooled, add in the butter and a small squeeze of lemon juice and, using a wooden spoon, mix in a very vigorous manner. Continue until everything is nicely incorporated and you see the butter become light and fluffy. At this stage, have a little taste. More seasoning? Or perhaps an extra bit of lemon juice?
Once you are happy with the flavour, stir again and use a spatula to transfer to an appropriate container. The butter will last a good few weeks in the fridge.
This butter can also be kept in the freezer if you want to make larger batches to stock up for the coming cold months.
Photographs by Benito Martin. Styling by Lynsey Fryers. Food preparation by Suresh Watson.