Sunday, December 19, 2010


serves four

For the beignets
4½oz butter, cut into cubes
9fl oz boiling water
5oz plain flour
4 free-range eggs
1lb 2oz haslet, cut into 1cm/0.5in cubes
9oz pork belly, cooked, skin and bones removed, chopped
1 shallot, peeled, finely chopped
2 tbsp finely sliced fresh sage leaves
2 tbsp finely sliced fresh tarragon leaves
vegetable oil, for deep frying

For the rhubarb purée
7oz rhubarb, trimmed, chopped
pinch sugar
pinch salt

For the sage foam
9fl oz milk
4oz fresh sage leaves

For the bacon
4 rashers streaky bacon

For the beignet, place the butter into a large heatproof mixing bowl and pour over the boiling water. Mix well until the butter has melted. Quickly add the flour all at once and beat in with a wooden spoon continuously for 2-3 minutes, or until well combined and the batter starts to come away from the sides of the bowl. Set aside for 5-10 minutes to cool slightly. Crack in the eggs one at a time, beating well between each addition, until all the eggs are incorporated into the beignet mixture. Mix the haslet, pork belly, shallot and sliced fresh herbs together in a separate bowl, then fold into the beignet mixture. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper, cover the bowl with cling film and set aside to rest for 30 minutes.

Meanwhile, for the rhubarb, place the rhubarb pieces into a small pan with a few tablespoons of water and cook over a medium heat for 10-15 minutes, or until the rhubarb is very soft. Drain the rhubarb, discarding any excess liquid, then transfer to a food processor. Season with a pinch of sugar and a pinch of salt, then blend until smooth. Set aside.

For the sage foam, bring the milk to a boil in a heavy-based pan, then immediately take off the heat. Add the sage, then transfer to a food processor and blend until smooth. Set aside until ready to serve.

For the bacon, preheat the oven to 180C/360F/Gas 4. Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper and lay the bacon rashers on top. Place another layer of greaseproof paper over the bacon and weigh down with a heavy baking or roasting tray to keep the bacon flat. Cook in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the bacon is crisp. Drain on kitchen paper and set aside.

For the beignets, half-fill a deep, heavy-based pan with the vegetable oil and heat to 190C/375F, checking the temperature with a digital thermometer (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended). Alternatively, use a deep-fat fryer.

Divide the beignet mixture into four equal portions and roll them into ball shapes. Carefully lower the beignets, one at a time, into the hot oil and fry for 3-4 minutes, or until golden-brown and cooked through. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper. Repeat with the remaining beignet mixture.

To serve, place two spoonfuls of the rhubarb purée onto each of four serving plates, shaping each spoonful into a circle. Place a beignet in the middle between the purée. Using a hand blender, foam up the sage and milk mixture and spoon the foam over the beignets. Top each serving with a bacon rasher and serve.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Colin McGurran, The Hairy Bikers' Food Tour of Britain, BBC-Food

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