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by Daphne Lambert

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 us

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