A preserve of lobster mushrooms seasoned with salt and herbs, simmered slowly in fat a la confit.
Course: Appetizer, Main Course
Keyword: Confit, Lobster Mushroms
1.5lbs672 grams lobster mushrooms cleaned, trimmed, and cut into 2 inch chunks
10grams1.5 teaspoons fine sea salt, or ground kosher salt (see note)
5clovesof garliccrushed with the back of a knife
1large sprig of rosemarywhacked with the back of a knife to release their aroma
2dried bay leaves
1tablespoontoasted black peppercorns
4cupsmelted lardpreferably from pork or poultry, although beef or lamb will work too
Cut the lobster mushrooms into 2x2 inch pieces, preferably on the square side. In a large bowl, toss the lobster mushrooms with the salt and all the ingredients except the lard and allow to rest in the fridge, preferably for 12-24 hours.
Preheat the oven to 250. Remove the lobster mushrooms and aromatics from the bowl, but leave any liquid behind, Gently squeezing the lobster mushrooms to reduce the amount of juice will be in the finished confit.
To cook, put the mushrooms and aromatics in a container big enough to accommodate them being covered with lard (leave at least a 4 inch or so headspace to avoid spilling). Pour the melted lard over the mushrooms to cover them completely.
Bake for 1.5 hours, then remove the pan from the oven and transfer the mushrooms while piping hot to a mason jar or another container, completely covering them with fat. If you want to keep the mushroom confit for more than a week under refrigeration, there can be no air contact with the lobster mushrooms. Date and label the confit.
The confit will keep for a month or more completely under lard, but can be used after a week or so, or even directly from the oven if you don't want to preserve it.
On the salt For restaurant batches, say 5lbs + it’s fine to use 1% salt by weight. For smaller batches, I find I like to add a little bit more to ensure the confit is aggressively seasoned.YieldThis will make enough to fill two pint jars, with a good amount excess fat and a few mushrooms leftover, as this has been modified from a large batch stored in hotel pans.