There’s something indulgent about crowning an already delicious mixture of ingredients with heaving spoonfuls of cheesy, creamy scone batter. And while the contents of my recipe for Mushroom and Kale Cobbler may seem immoderate, they conspire to create a wholly comforting meal. One you’ll find almost irresistible.
Cobblers have their origins in early British American colonies. Suet pudding being difficult to come by, settlers would use ingredients available them to create these hearty, nourishing dishes.
And it was the same frugal mindset that popularised the cobbler in Britain during the Second World War. Originally a dish that required little to no butter – it being rationed – the Ministry of Food encouraged British households to take full advantage of the humble cobbler.
With or without butter and cheese, cobbler is certainly a humble dish. Immoderate it may be, but frugal it remains, particularly if you opt for the vegetarian approach. And with nutty mushrooms and sweet kale pairing as well as they do, who wouldn’t?
One thing you may wish to note before preparing your mushroom and kale cobbler is the consistency of the scone batter. Forget everything you know about the traditional British scone; these scones are far wetter. They should be just firm enough to remain autonomous from one another, but wet enough to scoop easily.
To my mind, such a mushroom-heavy casserole is an adequate replacement for any meat dish. And far cheaper. But if you would rather a meaty alternative for your Sunday roast, give my Leftover Lamb Hotpot or Toad in the Hole a try…
Mushroom and Kale Cobbler
Serves 4 – 6
for the filling:
- 400g chestnut mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 stick of celery, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, finely chopped
- 250ml vegetable stock
- 2 large handfuls of kale
for the scones:
- 175g self-raising flour
- 75g chilled butter
- ½ tsp salt
- 50g mature cheddar, grated
- 1 clove of garlic, mashed
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme, finely chopped
- 1 large egg,
- 100ml whole milk
- Quickly fry the sliced mushrooms in batches, using a little oil each time. Cook until the mushrooms release their moisture, allow to brown slightly and set aside.
- Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a large pan and gently sweat the onions, celery and carrot together.
- Once the vegetables are soft and close to browning add the mushrooms, followed by your choice in stock. Finally, stir through two large handfuls of kale and allow to wilt.
- Preheat the oven to 180C/160C(fan). In a large mixing bowl, rub together the flour and butter until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Incorporate the grated cheese, garlic and thyme. Beat together the egg and milk. Make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients, pouring in the egg mixture. Bring the ingredients together into a wet batter.
- Transfer the mushroom mixture into a suitably sized casserole dish. Spoon the scone batter in 6 or 8 parts on top of the mushrooms.
- Bake for 20-30 minutes, until the scones are golden brown in colour. Serve immediately, or as leftovers the following day.
Cost: A dish comforting in the extreme, you might expect this recipe for mushroom and kale cobbler to be rather more expensive than it is. As it happens, at a cost of roughly £3.20 it’s hard to argue with the frugality of my cobbler; it makes for a compelling weekend treat.