I love portobello mushrooms. Full of iron, potassium and vitamin D they have a thick, meat-like texture with a beautiful earthy flavour. They absorb liquid very well, making them great to marinade and take on smoke beautifully so cook brilliantly over fire. And when paired with goats cheese, pancetta and toasted pine nuts, they provide the basis of a wonderfully balanced dish, hitting you simultaneously with smokey, salty, earthy and tangy flavours with a melt in the mouth texture complimented by the crunch as you bite down on the pine nuts.
WHAT YOU’LL NEED
BBQ with a lid/dome, half load of charcoal and 1 silver birch wood chunk. 1 small frying pan, and 1 small saucepan. 1 medium dish/bowl for the marinade.
- 3 Portobello Mushrooms, with the stalks removed
For the marinade:
- 1 tbsp finely chopped garlic
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 1/3 cup balsamic vinegar
- salt & pepper
For the topping:
- 200g goats cheese, in chunks
- 75g smoked pancetta
- 15g pine nuts
Light up your bbq and bring it up to 180C with the coals banked to one side. If you have the Kamado Joe divide and conquer, place one grill plate over the coals (direct) over the lower setting and one on the other side (indirect) on the higher setting. I used a caste iron grill for the lower setting.
Mix together the ingredients for the marinade. Place your mushrooms into a medium roasting dish or mixing bowl and pour over the marinade. Leave to marinade for 20 minutes.
Place a small frying pan over a high heat and throw in your pine nuts. Leave until they begin to brown and then toss. Repeat until they are nicely toasted. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Over a medium/high high in a small saucepan, gently fry your bacon. Stir occasionally and cook until crisp and brown. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Once your bbq is up to temperature (your mushrooms should be nicely marinaded by now, toss your silver birch chunks onto the flames.
Then lay your mushrooms on the lower direct setting, gills side down. Cook for 3 minutes.
Turn over and cook for a further 3 minutes.
Transfer to the higher indirect grill plates and divide your goats cheese, pancetta and pine nuts between the 3 mushrooms. Close the dome and cook for 10 minutes.
Remove from the bbq and serve immediately.
They work beautifully with a simple tomato & baby leaf salad and a balsamic/olive oil drizzle.
A few more shots from the cook: