This is a wonderful example of how a staple recipe can be transformed into a fresh inspired concoction. A southern American classic breakfast, turned not only vegan, but dressed up with beautiful ingredients to create a dish suitable for an elegant lunch or dinner. Rich in flavours and textures, this beautiful meal will undoubtably impress.
Southern Biscuits With White Beech Mushroom Gravy & Pink Peppercorns
For the mushroom gravy:
1 tbsp vegan butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
400g white beech mushrooms, trimmed and separated*
3 tbsp soy sauce
1 tsp vegetable stock powder
1 tsp dry thyme
1 tsp pink peppercorns in brine
1/3 of a cup Marsala wine
200 ml soy cream (or any plant based cream)
A splash of soy milk (or any plant based milk of your choice)
For the biscuits:
2 cups plain white unbleached flour, plus extra for rolling
2 tbsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 tbsp vegan butter, cold
1 cup unsweetened soy milk (or any plant based milk of your choice)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice (half a lemon, squeezed)
1 tsp pink peppercorns in brine
Some fresh finely chopped flat leaf parsley
Freshly ground black pepper
Start by preparing the biscuits.
🍄 Preheat the oven at 230C and line a baking tray with baking or silicone paper.
🍄 In a small jug, measure the milk and the lemon juice. Stir and leave for a few minutes to curdle.
🍄 In a large mixing bowl, mix the flour, the baking powder, the baking soda and the salt. Throw in the cold butter in small bits and mix well with your hands, breaking up the butter and creating a breadcrumb consistency. Pour in the curdled milk and mix with a wooden spoon until just combined. The dough will be very runny and sticky.
🍄 Flour a working surface and empty the dough. Sprinkle more flour on top and, using as few movements as possible, begin to fold the dough onto itself a few times. Gently smooth roll it out with a rolling pin, maintaining a thickness of about an inch, or 2.5cm
🍄 Using a round cookie cutter, or a glass, or mug, begin to cut out sections of the dough and placing them on the prepared tray, just touching and leaving no space between them. Re-roll any leftover dough and repeat until it has all been used.
🍄 Bake in the oven for 20 minutes, until the biscuits have risen and coloured slightly.
To make the gravy:
🍄 Melt the butter in a frying pan and sauté the shallots over low heat till they are soft and translucent. Add the mushrooms, the soy sauce, the veggie stock powder, the thyme and the peppercorns and stir over medium high heat for a few minutes.
🍄 Add the wine and keep stirring until it evaporates and the mushrooms are cooked. Remove half of the mushrooms and set aside.
🍄 Pour in the cream and keep stirring until it begins to thicken. Transfer to a blender and blend everything until very smooth. Put the smooth gravy in a sauce pan and check the seasoning. If it’s too thick, add a little milk to loosen it slightly. When you are pleased with it, set aside and reheat before serving.
🍄 When the biscuits are ready remove from the oven. To serve, place a biscuit on each plate, whole, or cut in half and pour the hot gravy on top. Spoon some of the reserved mushrooms over each biscuit and sprinkle with a few pink peppercorns, some freshly ground pepper and some finely chopped parsley.
White beech mushrooms grow in clusters of edible stems and caps. The base of the cluster should be cut and discarded. They have a wonderful buttery, nutty flavour and acquire a firm and lovely texture when cooked.
White beech mushrooms are rich in protein and contain many B vitamins, potassium, zinc and copper. They are rich in fibre and in immunity boosting beta-glucan polysaccharides, also known to protect against cancer.
* If you can’t get hold of white beech mushrooms, you can use other types such as button, or chestnut mushrooms instead.
Left over biscuits can be stored wrapped in a cloth and enjoyed with savoury or sweet accompaniments.