- 1½ lemons, juiced
- 6 globe artichokes
- 400 g lightly smoked speck* or rindless pork belly, cut into lardons
- 60 g butter, chopped
- 2 small onions, finely chopped
- 2 small carrots, finely chopped
- 1 bouquet garni* (thyme, bay leaves and peppercorns)
- 250 ml (1 cup) veal or chicken stock
- 250 ml (1 cup) dry white wine
- chopped parsley leaves and crusty bread, to serve
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.
Drink Cidre Breton, France ($5, 330 ml)
Place 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 5 cm 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, 125 ml stock, 125 ml 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 125 ml stock and 125 ml 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.
As seen in Feast magazine, Issue 10, pg130.
Photography by John Laurie.