Preheat the oven to
Heat a glug of olive
oil in a pan, grind at least a teaspoon of fresh black pepper into the warm oil
and add the garlic. As soon as it starts to sizzle pour it into the baking dish
and add the sprigs of thyme, cream and mascarpone.
Turn up the heat and
add a little butter and a little oil to the pan. When it is very hot, brown the
mushroom steaks one by one and transfer to the baking dish. You need to make
sure that you are just quickly browning the mushrooms on a high heat and not
steaming or cooking their juices out. A griddle pan works best. Add the smaller
mushrooms to the pan in batches and when browned also transfer to the baking
dish. Work quickly so that they dont overcook. You may need to add some more
butter and/or oil to the pan as you do this. Let your conscious be your guide.
This is the point
where you need to trust your own taste buds. Using the quantity guidelines
above, add the soy sauce and balsamic vinegar. I would suggest that you first
add half and then after a while taste and add more if you like where it is
going. I find that the soy sauce and balsamic vinegar does beautiful things to the
sauce after a while in the oven.
Bake for about 20 – 30
minutes. When the sauce starts reducing and turns a lovely brown colour it is
ready. Simply divine to mop the juices up with bread. Or eat the leftovers with
Reprinted with permission
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