Roast marron with vadouvan and cos

Roast marron with vadouvan and cos

By
From
Marque
Serves
10
Photographer
Stuart Scott

The freshwater marron thrive in the dark cold streams of the old-growth forests of southwestern Australia. Deep blue horned shells and pincers that can almost remove a finger give them a dangerous beauty. Their sweet textural flesh means it is a risk worth taking.

Ingredients

Method

  1. Begin by selecting 10 live marrons that are 250 to 300 grams each. Use a large kitchen knife to cut through the head of each marron, cutting down between the eyes to kill it quickly and humanely. Use a small knife to cut the membrane holding the head to the tail. Pull and twist to remove the head from the tail. Remove the large claws and reserve. Remove the central vein from the marron tail with a pair of tweezers. Use kitchen scissors to cut down the sides of the marron tail to release the flesh in one piece. Repeat with all the marron. Briefly blanch the claws in boiling water, then peel. Set aside the blanched claws and the marron tails until required.
  2. To make the lemon curd, combine the grated zest of 1 lemon, 90 millilitres lemon juice, 40 grams sugar and 3 eggs in a Th ermomix. Set the temperature to 80ºC and blend on speed five for 7 minutes. Turn off the heat, add 60 grams diced cold butter and continue blending on speed five until the butter is combined. Pass the mixture through a chinoise then store in a squeeze bottle in the refrigerator until required.
  3. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper. Pick 10 fennel fronds and place them on the lined baking tray. Cook them for about 10 minutes, or until very dark and crisp. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  4. Remove the outer leaves from 5 heads of baby cos lettuce until the young yellow–green leaves are revealed. Cut each heart of the lettuce in half. Place in a hot saucepan, cut side down, with 50 grams butter. Cover with a cartouche and cook for about 5 minutes, or until soft ened. Meanwhile, place 100 grams butter in a second hot saucepan. When foaming, add the prepared marron tails in batches with ½ teaspoon vadouvan per tail. Cook the tails in the foaming butter until they just start to curl. Remove from the heat.
  5. To serve, accompany the marron with cos hearts, a small droplet of dill oil (see note), 1 small teaspoon lemon curd, 1 blanched crab claw, 1 burnt dill frond, 1 nasturtium leaf and 1 nasturtium flower.

Herb oil

  • Bring a large pot of salted water to the boil. Pick the leaves from the herbs. Blanch the herbs for 1 minute in boiling salted water and refresh in iced water. Remove from the iced water and squeeze out all excess water. Dry well on paper towel. Place the blanched herbs in a Pacojet beaker. Pour in 100 millilitres extra virgin olive oil and 100 millilitres vegetable oil and freeze until solid. Churn the herbs and oil in the Pacojet, then push the frozen purée down and refreeze. Repeat this process twice more in order to produce a very fine frozen purée.

    Hang the frozen herb oil in coffee filter paper at room temperature and collect the oil that passes through. There may be a little water at the bottom of the oil. Decant the oil from the water and store until required.

    Makes 150 millilitres

    Note: This method works very well with any soft herb, such as dill, rocket, basil or parsley.
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