You can only use properly purged snails for this Spanish-influenced dish. Don’t be put off by the slime - the end result is remarkably delicious.
- 36 purged snails
- a few sprigs river mint, or mint
- 1 bulb garlic, roasted (see note)
- 50 ml apple cider vinegar
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- ½ tsp chilli flakes
- 2 tsp salt
- 2 tsp native pepperberry
- roots from 1 bunch coriander, well washed
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
1. Rinse the snails well in lightly salted water, then rinse again well in cold water.
2. Place the snails in a large saucepan, cover with 1 litre of cold water and slowly bring just to the boil. While the water is coming to the boil, use the mint sprigs to scoop off any scum that rises to the surface. Add the remaining ingredients, turn down to a gentle simmer and cook for 1 hour or until the snails are tender.
You can strain the cooking liquid and serve it as a broth, and the snails are ready to eat as-is.
•To roast the garlic place the whole bulb in a wood-fired oven or in a very hot oven and roast as is until the outside is lightly charred and the clovers are tender, then add the whole bulb to the broth.
Photography by Tim Thatcher