Cheddar Farinette, Snail Bourguignon, Pickled Loquat

Ingredients

  • 100 ml ( fl oz) olive oil
  • 1 white onion, finely diced
  • 1 medium carrot, finely diced
  • ½ teaspoon garlic purée
  • 50 g ( oz) ’nduja sausage
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon fennel seeds
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 50 ml ( fl oz) merlot vinegar, or good quality red wine vinegar
  • 200 ml (7 fl oz) Port (tawny)
  • 250 ml (9 fl oz/1 cup) light red wine
  • 500 ml (17 fl oz/2 cups) beef stock
  • 6 large snails
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • parsley, chopped, to finish
  • capers, to serve
  • spinach leaves, to serve
  • pickled loquats (substitute with pickled pear if unavailable)

Cheddar Farinette

  • 100 g ( oz) sourdough bread
  • milk, to cover
  • 100 g ( oz) cheddar cheese, crumbled
  • 1 egg
  • 20 g (¾ oz) plain (all-purpose) flour
  • nutmeg, to season
  • butter, for frying

Method

Put the olive oil in a medium frying pan and sweat the onion, carrot and garlic over low to medium heat until translucent. Add the ’nduja sausage, breaking it up to melt easily, then add the oregano, bay leaf, fennel seeds and cinnamon and continue to cook for 10 minutes. Add the vinegar, raise the heat and cook until reduced by two thirds, then add the port and wine and reduce again. Add the beef stock and continue to reduce until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. Just before serving, add the snails to warm through, being careful not to overcook them as they can become dry and rubbery. The sauce doesn’t need to be strained, it is much more interesting in its natural form. Monte the sauce with the tablespoon of butter until it looks nice and glossy, then finish with the chopped parsley.

To make the farinette, roughly dice the sourdough bread and cover with warm milk until the bread is soft. Strain any excess milk from the bread and put it in a heatproof bowl with the cheddar cheese. Put the bowl over a bain-marie until the cheese melts slightly. Add the egg and flour, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg and beat until combined. The mixture doesn’t have to be completely smooth; it is nice to retain some texture. Warm a non-stick frying pan, add a little butter and fry the mixture until golden brown. Finish in the oven until nicely glazed. Leave to cool until manageable.

Serve with the snail bourguinon, capers, crisp spinach leaves and pickled loquats.

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