For many people their experience of escargot is the tinned variety. This means they will have been prepared at a very high temperature and can tend to make them over chewy.
Fresh escargot is nothing like this!
Our escargot arrive hibernated and in their shells. They’re kept in the fridge until they are ready to cook, this means they remain hibernated up until the moment they are prepared, which is really simple. It also means they are as fresh and succulent as possible.
- Have a large pan of water on the boil – it must be boiling before the escargot are added.
- Take the escargot straight from the fridge and tip into the boiling water, leave for 5 mins.
- Plunge into cold water and when cool enough remove from shells.
- Using a cocktail stick, or tweezers remove each escargot from it’s shell.
- Twist the snail meat out, following the shape of the shell.
- Have a hot pan of brine with 10% salt dissolved into it.
- Boil snails in brine for 15 mins, agitating gently to assist with slime removal.
- Rinse several times with cold water. The escargot are now ready to be cooked.
- If you want to use the escargot shells, first wash them with bicarbonate of soda, rinse several times and boil them to sterilise.
For some recipes escargot will be pan fried along with other flavours. Or they can be pre-cooked to create a tender meat. This is the method I use to pre-cook:
Cook in a vegetable stock or court boullion on a very low heat for 45 to 60 minutes.
A slow cooker works really well.
Or a pan on the stove top on a very low simmer.
It’s the slow and low which makes the escargot meat tender.
Court Boullion Recipe
The court boullion infuses some flavours into the snails. You can use a stock cube if you prefer, or experiment with your own stock. Here is a suggested recipe:
- 5 cups cold water
- 1 cup dry white wine
- 2 sticks celery
- 1 leek (white part only)
- 1 small onion
- 1 lemon
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tsp whole black peppercorns
- 2 tsp salt (or to taste)
- 1 sprig fresh parsley
Add all ingredients to a pot – squeeze in lemon juice.
Bring to simmer then turn off heat and let steep for 30 mins.
Sieve out the veggies and use the remaining liquid to cook your escargot as above.
Try this delicious recipe for snail bombs, great for escargot virgins!