Sausage, portobello mushroom and winter root soufflette
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 200g (7oz) dry-cure back bacon, cut into small dice
  • 10 Cumberland or Lincolnshire sausages, each cut into 4
  • 300g (11oz) shallots
  • 400g (14oz) carrots, peeled and cut into 1cm (1/2in) slices
  • 1 tsp caster sugar
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 300ml (1/2 pint) red wine
  • 1 tsp finely chopped thyme leaves
  • 100ml (31/2fl oz) Madeira (preferably sweet)
  • 600ml (1 pint) beef stock
  • 200g (7oz) small portobello mushrooms, cut into 1cm (1/2in) slices

For the topping
  • 450g (1lb) swedes
  • 450g (1lb) parsnips
  • 25g (scant 1oz) unsalted butter
  • 25g (scant 1oz) plain flour
  • 100ml (31/2fl oz) full-fat milk
  • 2 large free-range eggs, separated
  • 75g (21/2oz) Cheddar cheese, coarsely grated
  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Preheat the oven to 190°C (375°F/Gas 5).

2 Heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Add the bacon and sausage pieces and fry for 1–minutes, turning occasionally until golden. Remove to a plate with a slotted spoon and set aside.

3 Soak the shallots in very hot water for 5 minutes, then peel and cut in half.

4 Add the shallots and carrots to the pan and fry, turning regularly until golden, about 2–3 minutes, then sprinkle over the sugar and cook, stirring, until lightly caramelised. Sprinkle over the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute more.

5 Add the wine and stir well, then add the thyme, Madeira and beef stock. Reduce the heat and simmer for 15–20 minutes.

6 Add the sliced mushrooms, return the bacon and sausages to the sauce,and simmer for 10 minutes more, until the sauce is thick. Transfer to an ovenproof casserole or gratin dish.

7 Meanwhile, make the topping. Peel the swede and parsnips, remove the woody core from the parsnips, then cut both vegetables into small chunks. Put in a pan of lightly salted water, bring to the boil, reduce the heat and cook for 25–30 minutes, or until the vegetables are very tender.

8 Remove from the heat, drain well, mash thoroughly with a potato masher or potato ricer, then return to the pan over a low heat to dry. Season well with salt and pepper to taste and set aside.

9 Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat and when it is hot, add the flour and cook gently for 1 minute, stirring continuously with a wooden spoon. Gradually add the milk and bring to the boil, stirring all the time. Cook for 2–3 minutes, stirring, until the mixture is smooth and thick.

10 Remove from the heat, add the mashed vegetables, then beat in the egg yolks.

11 Whisk the egg whites in a clean bowl until stiff but not dry, then fold lightly into the mixture.

12 Spread the soufflé mixture over the sausages and sprinkle with the cheese.

13 Transfer to the preheated oven and bake for 20–25 minutes, until the topping is risen and golden. Serve immediately.