Snail Porridge by Heston Blumenthal

Saturday, November 07, 2009

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For the snail butter
25g/1oz garlic cloves, peeled
40g/1½oz button mushrooms, finely chopped
40g/1½oz shallots, finely chopped
200g/7¼oz butter, at room temperature
25g/1oz Dijon mustard
20g/¾oz ground almonds
5g salt
100g/37frac12;oz flatleaf parsley, chopped
40g/1½oz Parma ham

For the snails
72 cooked snails (this allows for about 12 per person, but can be reduced)
1 carrot, peeled and thinly sliced
1 onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 fennel bulb, finely sliced
1 stick of celery, finely sliced
100g/3½oz button mushrooms, finely sliced
2 garlic cloves
bouquet garni made from bay leaves, thyme and rosemary
For the porridge
10g/½oz Parma ham
1 small fennel bulb
200ml/7¼fl oz snail cooking stock
60g/2¼oz porridge oats
70g/2½oz snail butter
the cooked snails
knob of butter
1 tsp sherry
3 tsp walnut oil


1. For the snail butter, blanch and refresh the garlic three to four times.
2. Heat 50g/1¾oz of the butter in a frying pan, and sweat the mushrooms and shallots for 5-10 minutes until softened. Keep to one side.
3. Put the remaining snail butter ingredients in a food processor and purée until smooth.
4. Rub the mix through a fine-meshed sieve, then mix in the Parma ham, mushrooms and shallots.
5. Mix in the Parma ham, mushrooms and shallots.
6. Place on a sheet of cling film and roll into a cylinder. Store in the fridge to harden.
7. To cook the snails, add them to a pan of boiling water and bring it back to the boil. Skim the surface and reduce the heat so that the water simmers very gently.
8. Add the rest of the ingredients and simmer for three hours, remove from the heat and leave to cool a little before straining through muslin.
9. Reserve the snails.
10. Finely shred the Parma ham, and slice the fennel as thinly as possible.
11. Heat the stock in a saucepan and when it's simmering add the oats. Stir until all of the liquid has been absorbed. Remove from the heat and beat in the snail butter.
12. Season generously.
13. Sauté the snails in butter and drain.
14. To serve, spoon the porridge onto the plates and top with the sliced ham. Top the porridge and ham with the sautéed snails. Toss the fennel with the vinegar and walnut oil, and season. Place the fennel on top of the porridge and serve.


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