Stuffed artichokes recipe (artichauts a la rennaise)
- Cuisine: French
- Serves 6 as a starter
Ingredients1½ lemons, juiced
6 globe artichokes
400g lightly smoked speck* or rindless pork belly, cut into lardons
60g butter, chopped
2 small onions, finely chopped
2 small carrots, finely chopped
1 bouquet garni* (thyme, bay leaves and peppercorns)
250ml (1 cup) veal or chicken stock
250ml (1 cup) dry white wine
Chopped parsley leaves and crusty bread, to serve
PreparationPlace the juice of 1 lemon in a large bowl of cold water. Working with one artichoke at a time, place artichokes on their side and trim the top (about 5cm up from the base), so that the hollow centre is exposed. Using a knife, remove the stalk. Remove and discard the tough end of the stalk, then finely chop the remainder and reserve. Remove and discard tough outer leaves of artichoke, then remove and discard choke. Rub exposed heart with the remaining lemon juice. Place in the bowl of acidulated water to prevent browning, while preparing remaining artichokes.
Drain artichokes, then cook in a large saucepan of boiling salted water for 15 minutes or until just tender. Drain and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, to make filling, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Blanch speck for 1 minute, then drain. Wipe pan clean, then melt butter over medium heat. Add onions and carrots, and cook, stirring, for 8 minutes or until onions are light golden. Add speck, bouquet garni, 125ml stock, 125ml wine and reserved artichoke. Cook for 10 minutes or until liquid has just evaporated. Remove from heat, season with salt and pepper, and set aside to cool. Reserve pan.
Firmly pack artichoke centres with filling and stand artichokes in reserved pan. Add remaining 125ml stock and 125ml wine, bring to the boil, then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 10 minutes or until tender.
Place artichokes on a plate, scatter with chopped parsley, spoon over cooking liquid and serve with bread.
* Speck, available from selected delis, butchers and supermarkets, is boned pork leg that is salted, then smoked. Darker-coloured speck indicates a heavier smoking.
* Make your own bouquet garni by combining the fresh herbs and peppercorns in a muslin bag and tie together with string to secure.
DRINK Cidre Breton, France ($5, 330ml)
As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 10, pg130.
Photography by John Laurie.
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