2 large mild onions, finely sliced, 2 stalks celery, finely diced, 2 cloves garlic, minced 400g Jerusalem artichokes, 6 large flatcap field mushrooms, chopped into large chunks, 1 tin peeled plum tomatoes, 2 tbsp flour, 4 tbsp dry Marsala (or medium sherry) 600 ml vegetable stock (I use Marigold vegetable bouillon powder) 2 bayleaves, a little finely- chopped fresh thyme, 2 tsp tomato puree, a splash of mushroom ketchup (optional)600g large baking potatoes, sliced thickly butter for frying and baking, extra-Virgin olive oil, a handful of curly parsley, very finely chopped, 1 lemon.
Prepare the artichokes. They oxidise quickly, so must be peeled into acidulated water. Squeeze a lemon into a bowl of water, and throw the lemon halves in for good measure.
Then, peel the artichokes as well as you can (they are often quite knobbly) and let them sit in the water until you’ve peeled them all.
Then, par-boil them in salted water, drain, and keep them until needed. Par-boil the potato slices too, drain them and reserve.
In a large saucepan over a gentle flame sweat the onions, celery and garlic in a couple of tablespoons of butter and olive oil until soft (about 30 minutes), then flick the heat up, add the mushrooms and let them colour well.
Add the flour, and allow this to cook out a little, then tip in the Marsala, the stock, the tinned plum tomatoes, the tomato puree, the mushroom ketchup, the bayleaves and thyme, stir well together and allow to simmer for 20 minutes, then tip into a baking dish, and top with the slices of potato. Dot the slices with butter and bake for 25-30 minutes at 200C or until the potatoes are golden and crispy on top. Sprinkle with a little parsley and serve immediately. Any leftovers could serve as an excellent accompaniment to a roast chicken or grilled steak.