Smoked eel with apple jelly, pink fir potatoes & horseradish

Smoked eel with apple jelly, pink fir potatoes & horseradish

By
From
Huxtabook
Serves
4 as part of a shared meal
Photographer
Chris Middleton

Smoked eel can be quite unnerving and fiddly to deal with, given all the little bones, but the result is well worth it. If you can’t get pink fir potatoes, use another sweet, waxy variety. Fresh horseradish is essential too.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
4 large pink fir potatoes, or other sweet waxy potatoes, scrubbed well, skin on, such as kipfler or king edward
50ml chardonnay vinegar
150ml extra virgin olive oil
1 whole smoked eel, about 400 g
1 x 50g fresh horseradish root, peeled

Apple jelly

Quantity Ingredient
2 granny smith apples
2 gelatine leaves, soaked in cold water

Method

  1. Bring the potatoes to the boil in a saucepan of salted cold water. Simmer for 30 minutes, or until done. Test by giving a gentle squeeze with your thumb and index finger; the potatoes should ‘give’ a bit. Drain and place in a colander to cool.
  2. When cool enough to handle but still warm, use a paring knife to peel the potatoes, then slice into discs 1 cm thick. Place in a bowl and pour the vinegar and olive oil over. Season with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper and gently toss together. Set aside to cool and soak up the dressing.
  3. To prepare the eel, cut just behind the head with a filleting knife, until you feel the spine. Run your knife flat against the backbone, all the way down to the tail. Repeat on the opposite side. Next, remove the rib cage: starting in the middle of the fillet, then keeping your knife upwards, cut out the edge of the fillet where the belly is. To remove the skin, place your thumb or index finger in between the fillet and the flesh, working it all the way along to the tail end; the skin should come off quite easily. Turn the fillet over. Check along the middle of the thickest part and remove any pin bones using a pair of tweezers. You now should have two clean fillets! Cut them into 2.5 cm lengths and reserve.
  4. For the apple jelly

    Use a juice extractor to juice the apples. Skim and strain the juice, then measure it out. Adjust the amount of gelatine to the amount of juice you have; the ratio is 1 gelatine leaf to 100 ml juice. Spray a plastic takeaway container with cooking oil spray (or use a paper towel dipped in oil), then wipe out with paper towel. Warm up 50 ml of the juice until you can just hold your finger in it, then stir in the gelatine and dissolve. Strain into the plastic container and place in the fridge for at least 2 hours to set.
  5. Once set, cut the jelly into 1 cm cubes and return to the fridge.
  6. To serve

    Arrange the potato slices on a platter. Top some of them with the eel portions, then place cubes of apple jelly in between. Drizzle some vinaigrette from the potatoes over and around the plate. Using a fine grater, such as a microplane, grate the horseradish over the plate.
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Melbourne
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