Dorset Snails! How do you cook yours?
June 24th 2013
When I visited David Walker at Dorset Snails, I had to admit that I have only tried snails once, many years ago.
‘What did they taste like? Do you remember?’
‘Well, a bit chewy and bland really.’
‘Tinned Snails! Dreadful things’ So what followed was a fascinating lesson on how freshly prepared snails should be cooked.
Firstly they are a slow cooked ingredient. Two hours ‘champagne simmer in the bag’ (they came vaccupacked without their shells), rinsed and then cooked to taste. So what did I do?
Well, I boiled them as directed, rinsed with boiling water from the kettle. I then sauteed them in garlic and herb butter, popped them in a bowl, topped them with a finely grated local salty hard cheese and popped them under the grill. I could have put them on a slice of ciabatta, that would work well.
What were they like? Well they were lovely! Not at all chewy, they had a texture not unlike mushroom. Yhey took the flavour of the garlic butter well, and the grilled cheese gave a good balance.
‘What are they like?’ asked the teenager of the house, peering into the bowl.
Her verdict, a sort of cross between a mushroom and shellfish flavour. We both enjoyed them.
If you want to try some, you can get them at the Salt Pig, Wareham or online from Dorset Snails Ltd, with or without shells.