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One of the pleasures of autumn is mushroom gathering. At the moment there are plenty to pick and a good time to make a bottle of mushroom ketchup. This thin brown liquid is more akin to soy than our general understanding of ketchup; it’s a great way to spice up a dish that just needs a little extra flavour.

700g field mushrooms (or you can use shop bought flat white)

1 1/2 tbsp fine salt

small handful dried ceps (optional)

3 shallots - chopped

2 cloves garlic - chopped

10 juniper berries

4 star anise

1/4 tsp ground cloves

1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

1" piece of ginger cut in slices

225ml apple cider vinegar

125ml medium dry sherry

Dust any earth from the mushrooms but do not wash.

Slice finely and put into a bowl

Sprinkle over the salt and mix well

Cover with muslin and leave for 24 hours

Pour 600ml of hot water over the ceps and leave to soak for 2 hours

Tip the salted mushrooms and all the dark brine into a pan

Scoop the ceps from their soak water and add to the pan

Strain the soak water from the ceps through muslin to remove any grit and add to the pan

If you are not using ceps add 400ml water

Add all the other ingredients to the pan except the sherry

Bring to the boil and simmer very gently for 1/2hr

Add the sherry and simmer for 2 minutes

Strain through muslin squeezing well to extract all of the juice

Bottle and store in fridge for up to six weeks.

Use the left over mushrooms to make a mushroom paté

Pick out from the mushrooms the star anise and ginger

Blitz to a puree

Stir in

175g of lightly toasted and chopped walnuts

1 handful of chopped parsley

2 tablespoons chopped rosemary

Chill before use

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