Smoked eel salad

The smoked eel that comes whole is better than the packets of fillets that are imported from Holland. The Richards’ at Hamburger Products used to smoke very large eels, which are a bit of an acquired taste due to their fat content. All smoked eel is very rich, so a little goes a long way. Crispy bacon and horseradish are two classic accompaniments to this fish, and here they are matched up with curly endive in a dish where all the elements truly work together.

Ingredients

  • 500 g smoked eel on the bone
  • 8 rashers streaky bacon (see If you can find some that is dry-cured and unsmoked)
  • 1 curly endive, darker outside leaves discarded, washed and dried

Dressing

  • 8 tbsp crème fraîche
  • juice of a ½ lemon
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1×3 cm piece fresh horseradish root, peeled and grated
  • salt and pepper

Method

Preheat your grill.

Skin and fillet the eel, which is easy to do, then cut it into 12 pieces. Grill the bacon on both sides until crisp, then allow to cool. Combine all the dressing ingredients in a bowl, season and stir. Transfer to a jar. (There’s more than you need here, but it keeps well in the fridge.)

Serving

Put 4 tbsp of the dressing in a bowl and toss the endive in it. Arrange a pile in the centre of 4 plates. Stack or pile the pieces of eel and bacon on the lettuce.

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