Medallions of smoked eel wrapped in pancetta are presented with a vibrant salad of beets and capers.


  • 1 medium sized smoked eel

  • 10 shallots

  • 2 tbsp butter

  • salt & pepper

  • 10 -12 paper thin large slices of pancetta

  • Baby beets

  • 10 baby beets

  • ½ cup of sugar

  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar

  • Water to cover

  • Beet ‘tartare’

  • 2 medium beetroots

  • 2 shallots, cut into brunoise

  • 1 tsp capers, chopped

  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard

  • mustard vinaigrette to coat

  • salt and pepper


  • 1.

    Slice shallots thinly, sauté in butter until softened but not coloured and season. Allow to cool.

  • 2.

    Lay overlapping pancetta slices onto plastic wrap.

  • 3.

    Skin and de-bone eel, cut fillets in half.

  • 4.

    Lay eel fillet on top of pancetta coloured side down, top with shallots and place the other fillet on top.

  • 5.

    Wrap in the pancetta and plastic wrap, forming a neat tight cylinder.

  • 6.

    Refrigerate overnight or partially freeze to firm up the cylinder.

  • 7.

    Take plastic wrap off and sear cylinder on all sides on a high heat in a pan smeared with a little vegetable oil.

  • 8.

    Cool and re-wrap in several layers of plastic wrap. Return to the refrigerator.

  • 9.

    When ready to serve, slice the cylinder into medallions (approx 1.25cms).

  • 10.

    Place on an oven tray and heat in a medium oven (165°C) until warmed through (about 5 minutes).

  • 11.

    Serve with baby beets or a beetroot salad.

  • Baby beets:

  • 1.

    Trim tops off baby beets, leaving 2-3cms. Add all the ingredients to a pot.

  • 2.

    Cover with a cartouche, and simmer till cooked.

  • 3.

    Drain but keep cooking juices.

  • 4.

    Cool beets and peel.

  • Beet paint: (optional garnish):

  • 1.

    Reserve beet cooking juices.

  • 2.

    Reduce juice until syrupy.

  • Beet ‘tartare’:

  • 1.

    Roast beets in foil until soft.

  • 2.

    Peel, brunoise.

  • 3.

    Combine all ingredients.

  • To assemble:

  • 1.

    If using the beet paint – run a smear of the paint down your plate.

  • 2.

    Serve three warmed eel medallions on the beet ‘tartare’ and garnish with quartered or halved baby beets.

  • 3.

    Garnish with herbs and flowers – selecting from the following: chard shoots, mustard cress, mache shoots, chervil sprigs, marigold petals, pansy petals


Courtesy of Alla Wolf-Tasker at Melbourne Food and Wine Festival's Langham Melbourne Masterclass.

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