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Recipe 10 ➺ Lachlan Colwill

Fermented Celeriac Pithivier

Dumpling lover, guitarist and jazz enthusiast Chef Lachlan Colwill is responsible for opening the iconic Hentley Farm
Restaurant in Barossa Valley. After receiving multiple accolades and taking the restaurant to the US, UK and NZ, Lachlan relocated to picturesque Tasmania, joining the team at the Port Cygnet Cannery as Restaurant Manager.

With a passion for sustainably sourced produce Lachlan has treated Sometimes Always this month with a look into the farm to plate stylings of Cannery. This recipe for a decadent fermented Celeriac Pithivier will have you learning new techniques and exploring lesser-known ingredients.

Who said learning couldn’t be delicious?

7 hrs Preparation
75 mins Cooking Time
Serves 4-6

Ingredients

Fresh
3 whole large celeriac
1kg mushrooms (button, brown, swiss, whatever you fancy)
4 shallots or 1 large brown onion finely sliced
4 cloves garlic
1/2 bunch thyme
2 bay leaves
3 egg yolks
Quality puff pastry

Liquid
40ml olive oil
3 tsp water

Dry
Quality sea salt and black pepper for seasoning

This recipe for a pithivier (or pie) is the perfect dish to impress your guests as a centre piece for your next dinner party. It’s a journey and a destination all in one.

Method

For the fermented celeriac:
Peel the celeriac and slice into thin rounds using a mandolin or carefully by hand. Cover in 10g of salt and mix together thoroughly. Place in an airtight container and leave in a cool dark place to ferment for a minimum of 6 hours. The celeriac will develop more flavour with time and can be left to ferment for up to 14 days.

Once you are happy with the flavour/texture of the salted celeriac remove it from the vessel you used to store it. Taste a piece and if it’s slightly salty, wash with cold water. If the flavour is good pat dry each sheet and place in a clean bowl, ready to assemble the pie.

For the mushroom duxelles:
Finely chop or blitz the mushroom to a fine consistency using a food processor.
Heat olive oil in a large pot on medium heat, add garlic and onions stirring until onions are translucent. Add the chopped mushrooms, thyme, bay leaves and season with a little salt. The mushrooms will have a considerable amount of moisture when cooked, therefore you need to keep cooking the mixture until all moisture has evaporated. Depending on the mushrooms you have used this can take anywhere from 30mins to 1hr.

Once the moisture has been cooked out, season the mixture with salt and a generous amount of freshly cracked black pepper then transfer to a tray and chill until needed.
Roll the puff pastry out into a long rectangle to a thickness of 4mm, then slice down the centre to create two large squares (one ideally slightly larger than the other). Store this in the fridge, covered with a towel until the pithivier is ready to be assembled.

To assemble:
Preheat the oven to 210°C.

On a clean working surface, begin to layer the celeriac in a circular motion, pressing down on each layer to make sure there are no major gaps or uneven tiers. Repeat this process until you have something that looks similar to a stack of crepes.

Remove your chilled mushroom duxelles from the fridge and begin to cover the entire celeriac stack with the mushroom paste. You are wanting to encase the sides and top of the celeriac stack with roughly a 3cm thick layer of mushroom.

Remove puff pastry from the fridge and place the smaller sheet on a lined tray. Gently place the celeriac and mushroom cake in the center of the puff pastry. Lightly wet the edges of the pastry with warm water and layer the larger piece of puff pastry on top of the celeriac and mushroom cake making sure not to trap air inside as you press it down.

Work your hands around the top layer of pastry to seal it with the bottom layer, encasing the entire mixture. Whisk eggs and water together to make an egg wash. Cut a small air hole in the top of the pie, brush the entire pie with the egg wash, then chill in the fridge for 1 hr.

Brush the pie with one more coating of egg wash before placing in the oven and bake for 25mins, then turn the heat down to 160°C and bake for a further 15mins or until the pastry is golden.

Remove from the oven and rest for 15mins before serving with a green salad, chutney or onion gravy.

Enjoy!

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