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Eel and Bone Marrow, Eggplant, Pickled Vegetables

Try this main course recipe by Dan Hunter, demonstrated at Langham Melbourne MasterClass during the 2012 Melbourne Food and Wine Festival.


  • Eel Paste

  • 475g smoked eel meat

  • 50g squid ink

  • Eel Nougatine

  • Although this recipe makes more than needed, it is the minimum volume that should be attempted.

  • 40g unsalted butter

  • 70ml full cream milk

  • 40g caster sugar

  • 8g pectin NH (nappage)

  • 17g glucose

  • 7g flour, sifted

  • 150g eel paste

  • Veal Stock

  • Again this recipe is more than needed, but is the minimum volume that should be attempted – makes 10 litres.

  • 20kg veal knuckle bones

  • Oil for roasting

  • 16kg stewing beef

  • 7.4kg brown onions

  • 3.2kg large carrots

  • 1.3kg large, ripe tomatoes

  • 10L red wine, reduced to 1L

  • 2 pork trotters

  • 1 calves foot, split

  • 50L water

  • Eel Glaze

  • Makes 375ml

  • 25g dark sesame oil

  • 100g shallot

  • 20g ginger

  • 2g red Szechuan pepper

  • 25g maple syrup

  • 12.5g honey

  • 100g sake

  • 75g smoked eel trim

  • 625g reduced veal stock

  • 25g tamari

  • Bone Marrow

  • 4 large pieces veal shin bone marrow around 3.5cm thick

  • Dashi

  • 30g konbu

  • 1.8L filtered water

  • 28g bonito flakes

  • Blanching Liquor

  • 8g bonito flakes

  • 400ml dashi

  • 15ml light soy sauce

  • 5g caster sugar

  • 4g salt

  • Eggplant Marinade

  • 1 clove organic Australian garlic

  • 50g Valrhona ‘caraibe’ chocolate

  • 125g shiro miso paste (white)

  • 60ml light soy sauce

  • 30ml lemon juice

  • 10ml pure Japanese sesame oil

  • 100ml eggplant cooking liquor.

  • Eggplant

  • 1 large eggplant, skin removedg gellan

  • Pickling Liquor

  • 64.25g sugar

  • 100ml white wine vinegar

  • 30ml lemon juice

  • 20ml lime juice

  • 250ml water

  • Pickled Vegetables (per portion)

  • All Vegetables are baby.

  • 3 slices golden beetroot, raw

  • 3 slices chioggia beetroot, raw

  • 3 slices bulls blood beetroot, raw

  • 1 slices black radish, raw

  • 2 halves French breakfast radish, cooked

  • 2 halves purple top turnip, cooked

  • 1 half golden turnip, cooked

  • 1 whole radar radish (baby) with leaves, raw

  • Lime Confit

  • 1 lime

  • 200ml water

  • 50ml sugar

  • Leaves (per portion)

  • 1 large Vietnamese mint leaf

  • 3 Empress of India nasturtium leaves

  • 2-3 yarrow leaves

  • Turnip and radish leaves


  • Eel Paste:

  • 1.

    Remove the head from the eel, take the fillets off the bone and remove the skin.

  • 2.

    Pass the meat through a tamis sieve and combine with the squid ink. Set aside.

  • Eel Nougatine:

  • 1.

    Combine butter, milk, sugar, pectin and glucose in a saucepan and stir while heating slowly to 108°C.

  • 2.

    At 108°C remove the pot from the heat and add the flour and eel paste, stirring rapidly so that a homogenous paste is achieved.

  • 3.

    Pour the mixture onto greaseproof paper and immediately roll out to about 3mm thickness. Transfer to the freezer.

  • 4.

    When frozen remove the sheets of paper and bake the nougatine mixture at 130°C for 16–18 minutes.

  • 5.

    Allow to cool and reserve in an airtight container until needed. The wafer should be crisp.

  • Veal Stock:

  • 1.

    All ingredients are to be roasted at 200°C, with separate pans for the bones, beef and vegetables.

  • 2.

    Rub the bones with oil and roast them to a deep golden colour, turning them when needed and draining off excessive amounts of fat.

  • 3.

    Cut the beef into large pieces, coat with oil and roast to a deep brown.

  • 4.

    Peel onions and carrots. Halve the onions and roast until dark. Roast carrots whole.

  • 5.

    Halve the tomatoes and roast until dark in colour.

  • 6.

    Place all roasted ingredients into a large stock pot with remaining ingredients and bring to a gentle simmer. Skim any fat and impurities from the surface and simmer for 12 hours. Ensure that the stock never boils hard and skim it regularly over the entire cooking time.

  • 7.

    Once the stock has cooked for the prescribed time, pass it first through a coarse strainer and then a fine one and return to the stove to reduce.

  • 8.

    Continue to skim any impurities from the surface and reduce the liquid to 10 litres.

  • 9.

    Pass again through a fine strainer and cool rapidly. Reserve until needed.

  • Eel Glaze:

  • 1.

    Warm sesame oil in a wide pot and slowly sweat sliced shallot and ginger without

  • 2.

    Colouring. Add Szechuan pepper then maple syrup and honey and allow to lightly

  • 3.


  • 4.

    Deglaze with sake, add eel trim, veal stock and finally tamari.

  • 5.

    Bring the stock to a gentle simmer, skimming impurities that surface and cooking out slowly.

  • 6.

    Reduce the stock as it cooks to 375ml. Pass through a fine strainer, check seasoning and chill rapidly.

  • Bone Marrow:

  • 1.

    Place the shins into ice water and leave them to soak for around 12 hours. This will soften the marrow.

  • 2.

    Once softened, press out the pieces of marrow and return them to fresh iced water. Discard the bones. The iced water will help to leach out some of the blood. Once clean, keep the marrow in water until needed.

  • Dashi:

  • 1.

    Place konbu and water into a vacuum bag and bring to 60°C. Maintain the temperature for 1 hour.

  • 2.

    Remove the konbu from the water and in a pot bring the water to 80°C.

  • 3.

    Remove from the heat, add the bonito and let stand for exactly 20 seconds. Strain and chill. Cover the dashi and refrigerate until needed.

  • Blanching Liquor:

  • 1.

    Wrap the bonito flakes in muslin making sure that the ‘bundle’ is tied correctly.

  • 2.

    Combine all other ingredients in a pot and bring to the boil. Add bonito ‘bundle’ as a lid to weigh down the eggplant when blanching.

  • Eggplant Marinade:

  • 1.

    Purée the garlic.

  • 2.

    Melt the chocolate in a bowl over steam.

  • 3.

    Once liquid, combine the chocolate with all other ingredients, ensuring that a homogenous paste is formed.

  • Eggplant:

  • 1.

    Cut the flesh into small pieces. Blanch the eggplant in the combined dashi and blanching liquor, keeping it submerged with the bonito ‘bundle’. The eggplant should simmer for 8–10 minutes to ensure that it is completely cooked.

  • 2.

    Once cooked through, remove eggplant from the cooking liquor and combine it with the marinade at a ratio of 400g of blanched eggplant to 100g of marinade (4:1).

  • 3.

    Purée the eggplant and marinade and allow the finished product to cool. When completely cold return the eggplant to a Thermomix and thicken with a ration of 0.5g of gellan to 100g of purée.

  • 4.

    Store covered at 60°C until needed.

  • Pickling Liquor:

  • 1.

    Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar and citrus juices and combine with the water. Store covered and refrigerated until needed.

  • Pickled Vegetables (per portion):

  • 1.

    Slice all beetroots separately on a mandolin and place them by variety into separate containers. Cover each group with the pickling liquor. Do the same with the black radish.

  • 2.

    Combine halved breakfast radishes with the pickling liquor in a vacuum bag and seal on maximum pressure. Cook the radish at 65°C for 5 minutes. Refresh in the bag when cooked.

  • 3.

    Once cool open the bag and transfer the contents, radishes and liquor, to an airtight container.

  • 4.

    Place turnips into salted water and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat instantly as they boil and transfer them to a container submerging them in the pickling liquor.

  • 5.

    Reserve all vegetables submerged in the pickling liquor refrigerated until needed.

  • Lime Confit:

  • 1.

    Using a sharp paring knife, remove the lime zest, taking care not to remove the bitter pith. Once removed, slice the zest into thin even 3cm long pieces.

  • 2.

    Blanch the zest from cold a couple of times to remove any bitterness.

  • 3.

    Dissolve the sugar in the water and place the lime zest in the liquid. On a very low heat cook or ‘confit’ the zest until the liquid thickens slightly and the zest has softened. Reserve in an airtight container

  • Leaves (per portion):

  • 1.

    Wash all leaves in iced water, dry them on paper towels and portion them into sealed containers. Reserve refrigerated until needed.

  • To Serve:

  • 1.

    Blanch the marrow in salted water for at least 1 minute ensuring that it gets hot in the centre. Transfer the hot marrow to a small pan and roll it in the reduced eel glaze. Once it is completely covered transfer the marrow to a tray and caramelise it under a salamander.

  • 2.

    Place a large spoonful of eggplant purée in the centre of a shallow bowl and brown it with a blow torch. Arrange the pickled vegetables around the left hand side of the burnt purée with one slice of lime zest. Place 2 large slices of eel nougatine randomly between the vegetables. Scatter the herbs, place the marrow on the eggplant purée and serve.


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