Mushroom and chestnut pâté with tarragon and fermented cranberries

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This rich, decadent mushroom pâté recipe is flavoured with chestnuts and served with tangy fermented cranberries for an extra kick. A fantastic vegan starter for Christmas.

First published in 2017




Mushroom and chestnut pâté

Fermented cranberries


  • Blender


Begin by preparing your cranberries, as they will take at least 5 days to ferment. Place the cranberries in a bowl and lightly crush them using a masher or the end of a rolling pin. You want the skins to be split to help the fermenting process but still keep the nice round shape. Transfer them to a jar
Dissolve the salt in the water and add the clove, cinnamon stick, orange zest and honey. Pour the brine over the cranberries, making sure they are completely submerged under the brine. Top with a disc of greaseproof paper
Leave at room temperature for 5 days and wait for them to start fizzing. As it's likely to be winter whilst you're making these, the cold weather might slow things down a bit; the warmer your kitchen, the quicker the process will be. If no bubbles appear after a week, consider moving the jar to a warmer room in the house
Once you've tasted your cranberries and are happy with the flavour, move the jar to the fridge to stop the fermenting process (or leave them out longer if you want a more tangy flavour)
To make the pâté, begin by soaking the dried mushrooms in warm water for about 10 minutes, or until softened
Meanwhile, sauté the garlic and shallot in a splash of oil until translucent, then add the fresh mushrooms, rosemary and tarragon. Cook down until soft
Add the chestnuts to the pan at the end to warm through, then transfer the mixture to a blender
Squeeze any excess moisture out of the soaked mushrooms (but keep the soaking liquid) and add to the blender. Blend to a smooth paste, adding some of the mushroom soaking stock if it needs loosening a little. Season with salt and sherry vinegar and leave the mixture to cool
Plate the pâté with some tarragon leaves, fermented cranberries for tang and shaved fresh chestnuts for a bit of bite
First published in 2017

Pollyanna is a recipe developer who used to lead the team behind GBC Kitchen. She left Great British Chefs in 2022.

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