Cured bonito with smoked foie gras, mustard seeds and gherkin

Cured bonito with smoked foie gras, mustard seeds and gherkin

By
From
Marque
Serves
10
Photographer
Stuart Scott

This dish is a simple salad and celebration of the Australian bonito, sarda australis, which is common in the coastal waters of Australia. It is also called bunny, common bonito, horse mackerel, little bonito, skipjack and striped bonito.

Ingredients

Method

  1. Begin this recipe two days in advance. To pickle the gherkins, put 75 grams caster sugar, 150 millilitres white wine vinegar, 450 millilitres water, 1 teaspoon white peppercorns, 2 garlic cloves, 1 fresh bay leaf and 1 small bunch dill into a 1 litre saucepan. Bring to a simmer, then remove from the heat, cover and leave to infuse for 24 hours.
  2. The next day, seal ten 10 centimetre long pickling cucumbers in a sous-vide bag with the pickling liquor and 1 heaped teaspoon Murray River pink salt. Compress with high pressure and leave for 24 hours prior to use.
  3. Place 50 grams yellow mustard seeds in a heavy-based 1 litre saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil, then strain off the water and start again with fresh water. Repeat this process twice more to reduce the bitterness of the seeds. Add fresh water and simmer for 2 hours until the seeds are soft and three times their original size. Strain and rinse, then strain again and cool. Stir in 30 millilitres virgin olive oil, 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar and salt and freshly ground white pepper to taste. Mix well and keep cool until required.
  4. Choose a spanking fresh 1.5 kilogram bonito preferably still in rigor. Gut and fillet the fish. Wipe dry with paper towels and then fillet. Divide the fillet in two pieces along the lateral line, removing the lateral pin bones. Use the upper quarter for this recipe. The belly can be used for another dish.
  5. To make the curing mixture, mix 50 grams fine sea salt with 50 grams caster sugar in a bowl. Hold a fine Microplane grater over the bowl and grate the zest of 2 Meyer lemons into the bowl – by grating the lemons over the bowl, the essential oils will be trapped. Roll the bonito fillets in the curing mixture and refrigerate for 1 hour.
  6. To make the smoked foie gras custard, place 50 grams foie gras terrine on a small wire rack and place in a cold oven. Heat a heavy-based pan over a high heat and add 100 grams hickory smoking chips. When the smoking chips catch alight, wait until they are burning evenly then snuff out the flames by inverting a second pan over the first. Transfer the pan of hickory chips to the oven, quickly close the door and smoke the foie gras for 10 minutes.
  7. Preheat the oven to 110°C. Pour 200 millilitres pouring cream into a small saucepan, add the smoked foie gras and warm over a low heat. Add 4 egg yolks, 1 tablespoon Madeira, ½ teaspoon quatre épices (see page 292) and 1 teaspoon Murray River pink salt. Use a wand blender to combine. Strain into a small heatproof container and wrap it tightly with plastic wrap. Place in a bain-marie and cook in the oven for 40 minutes, or until just set. Refrigerate the custard until required.
  8. Freeze 250 grams Lardo di Colonnata for 1 hour prior to serving. You will require 20 pieces of elk cress, 30 white borage flowers and 20 young radishes about 1 centimetre in diameter, with leaves attached. Wash the radishes well and trim any discoloured leaves. Remove the gherkins from the bag and cut into slices.
  9. To serve, use a small spatula to smear each plate with a dessertspoon of the foie gras custard. Slice the bonito on the bias and arrange on the plates. Use an electric slicer to slice the lardo. Place a slice or two over the fish. Garnish with 1 teaspoon of the mustard seeds. Toss the radishes in a little vinaigrette and arrange on each plate. Add a few thin slices of the pickled gherkin and finish with the elk cress and borage.
Tags:
Marque
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