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When I was in London I was privileged enough to work at Belgo, a Belgian restaurant group. This was one of my favourite dishes on their menu and also explains why I returned home a slightly larger version of myself! šŸ™‚

Serves 4.

You will need:

85g butter

2 Onions

2 punnets of Woolworth’s mixed Wild Mushrooms (or 600g wild mushrooms)

200 ml ale (I used Mitchell’s Bosuns bitter but reckon any dark beer will do)

300 ml double cream

Himalayan rock salt and rainbow pepper

a good dash of paprika

2 teaspoons brown sugar

300g puff pastry

8 slices raclette cheese or any nutty cheese that’s good for grilling (try Checkers)

16 asparagus spears or tips, or more depending on your addiction to asparagus..

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celsius

Melt the butter in a large pan, add the onions and saute on a low to medium heat untill softened, but not browned. The onions will becomeĀ translucentĀ as it cooks. Sprinkle over the sugar and cook for a further few minutes untill all the sugar has been absorbed. Add the mushrooms and cook slowly for about 5 minutes. Add the beer and cream and leave to simmer for about 20 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and paprika.

Roll out the puff pastry till about 5 mm thick and cut out 4 large squares. You can cut shapes out of the left over pastry and decorate your squares if you like. Place squares on a dampened baking sheet and bake for 10 minutes or untill deep golden brown. Steam the asparagus while the pastry cooks. Take out and cool on a wire rack for a few minutes. Slice the squares through the middle (ie separate top and bottom halves) and put the bottoms on 4 ovenproof serving plates. Divide the mushroom mixture between the 4 pastry bottoms and place 2 slices of cheese on top of each. Place under a hot grill for 5-10 seconds (till the cheese is melted and start bubbling). Replace the pastry tops and decorate with freshly steamed asparagus. Serve at once.

*Bouchee [boo-SHAY]:Ā The French word for “mouthful,” a boucheeĀ is a Puff pastry filled shell.Ā 

Not to be confused with an Amuse Bouche (uh-MYUZ-boosh) – a small complimentary appetizer offered at some restaurants [From French, literally meaning, “mouth amuser”]