The Cottage Smallholder

stumbling self sufficiency in a small space

Best recipes for leftovers: Baked Portobello mushrooms with ham, parsley sauce and parmesan recipe

Photo: Baked mushrooms in foil nests

Photo: Baked mushrooms in foil nests

We cured and smoked our own ham this year. It was delicious and a proper old fashioned half leg. We were thrilled that it worked out as I had tweaked our bacon cure, upping the salt by 25%. This is still far less than the HFW cure and every other recipe that I’ve found on my researches. We smoked it for a good 24 hours in the smoke chamber above our wood burner. The latter opens into an old chimney, rather than a flue. I had saved some seasoned apple wood for this very special smoke. I finally roasted the joint for us on Christmas Eve and it was perfect.

So we were able to have our traditional Boxing Day lunch with the novelty of our own ham and home grown parsley. This is always eaten off trays in our laps, watching the horse racing on TV. A fun, relaxing time.

Ham is such a good investment at Christmas. If you can afford a decent sized one it goes on and on and freezes well. I reckon that our 7.5 pound organic free range ham (£25.00) would have fed 15 well, with seconds. So an organic, free range ham need not require a second mortgage if you can cure and smoke it at home. 

As there were only the three of us, we could guzzle to our hearts content.  We packed a decent wedge into my mum’s take home hamper and still have enough for ten more generous portions. And of course the bone will make great stock.

Yesterday I decided that it would be ham and the remains of the parsley sauce for supper but when I drifted into Tesco, I spotted some fresh tempting Portobello mushrooms and my brain started to whir. There were only three mushrooms left so they were snaffled into my basket. These would pad out the ham, make the most of the 6 leftover tablespoons of thick parsley sauce and perhaps transform the meal into something even more delicious.

Photo: baked mushrooms

Photo: baked mushrooms

I discovered that large flat mushrooms, a handful of cubed ham, an ultra thick parsley sauce and dried breadcrumbs scattered with parmesan transmogrify into a substantial and tasty meal These baked mushrooms are not a light supper dish. They have loads of welly and Danny loved them.

The sauce, thicker than traditional English custard, heated through but remained intact. The topping was the perfect foil for the ingredients. This recipe was easy, tasty and used far less ham than I’d use for sliced ham with parsley sauce. And there’s the focus. Ham when used as part of a sustaining meal can be stretched without anyone noticing.

More ham leftovers to enjoy a bit later in the year.

Baked Portobello mushrooms with ham, parsley sauce and parmesan recipe
(for two hungry people)


  • 3 Portobello mushrooms
  • A handful of chopped ham
  • 6 tbsp of thick parsley sauce
  • A large handful of dried bread crumbs
  • Knob of parmesan (grated fine)
  • 1 tsp of white wine/water for each basket


Set the oven to 180C (160c fan)

  1. Make three nests out of aluminium foil to hold each mushroom.
  2. Cut the stalks from the mushroom close to the gills. Chop these fine and add them to each of the mushrooms. Place the mushrooms in the nests.
  3. Take a handful of ham roughly chopped into 1cm chunks and divide these between the mushrooms.
  4. Dollop the sauce on top of the ham. Sprinkle the top with dried breadcrumbs and top with finely grated parmesan.
  5. Carefully pour a tsp of white wine between each mushroom and the nest. Bake in the oven for 35-45 minutes.
  6. Serve with garlic bread and some French or runner beans.

  Leave a reply


  1. Arments Pie and Mash Shop

    What a mouthwatering recipe, cant wait to try this. We are lovers of Parsley sauce and drizzle it daily over our pie & mash meals. If you are ever in the Walworth area come and take a bite at Arments Pie & Mash shop.

  2. just tried this. its gorgeous! Definitely doing it again. Few small changes: i put in a little bit of leftover stilton with the ham. You do have to be careful, not too much or it’ll overpower the rest of it, but it is absolutely GORGEOUS. i also put parmesan in with the breadcrumbs to help them bind, as well as ontop. And parsley. Green breadcrumbs. LOL.

    thanks for a great recipe – I’ll be posting pics on my blog later!


  3. Toffeeapple

    Mmm…such a tasty meal, can’t go wrong with any of those ingredients. I think I could live on ham.

  4. S.O.L. – I’ve been told you should never boil a ham – just bring it to a gentle simmer, then throw away the water (you do this to remove the salt from the curing process). however, do follow the manufacturer’s instructions – that’s what i was told to do. And yes, you can freeze ham. I have portions in my freezer at the moment – and if i can find some large flat mushrooms (even if they’re not portobello), I’ll be digging them out to make this!!!

  5. Sounds absolutely delicious. I may have to try and make that. Minus cheese for me.

    I cooked a ham this year, boiled it and then baked it. Sounds strange, but it tasted very piggy? What went wrong?

    We are really budgeting this year, so I am really going to try like heck to keep to the programme, lean times ahead for all. So this ham recipe may be a great thing to try. I wonder if you can freeze ham in portions??? I think I might have to have a go at that. Also, I was thinking or trying to make some parma ham… Salt manger and all.

  6. Sharon J

    My mouth’s watering now. Shame my daughter won’t touch mushrooms because I absolutely love them.

  7. kate (uk)

    Portabello mushrooms, a dollop of half fat creme fraiche, a drizzle of balsamic vinegar, some lardons. Bake, add chopped fresh herbs.Bliss.Especially with toast.

  8. melanie

    My husband would love this.

  9. Allotment blogger

    Sounds utterly delicious. I love home cured ham.

  10. Happy New Year to you Fiona!

    Your menu is mouth watering. I just love portabellos and parsley sauce.

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