Slice shallots thinly, sauté in butter until softened but not coloured and season. Allow to cool.
Lay overlapping pancetta slices onto plastic wrap.
Skin and de-bone eel, cut fillets in half.
Lay eel fillet on top of pancetta coloured side down, top with shallots and place the other fillet on top.
Wrap in the pancetta and plastic wrap, forming a neat tight cylinder.
Refrigerate overnight or partially freeze to firm up the cylinder.
Take plastic wrap off and sear cylinder on all sides on a high heat in a pan smeared with a little vegetable oil.
Cool and re-wrap in several layers of plastic wrap. Return to the refrigerator.
When ready to serve, slice the cylinder into medallions (approx 1.25cms).
Place on an oven tray and heat in a medium oven (165°C) until warmed through (about 5 minutes).
Serve with baby beets or a beetroot salad.
Trim tops off baby beets, leaving 2-3cms. Add all the ingredients to a pot.
Cover with a cartouche, and simmer till cooked.
Drain but keep cooking juices.
Cool beets and peel.
Beet paint: (optional garnish):
Reserve beet cooking juices.
Reduce juice until syrupy.
Roast beets in foil until soft.
Combine all ingredients.
If using the beet paint – run a smear of the paint down your plate.
Serve three warmed eel medallions on the beet ‘tartare’ and garnish with quartered or halved baby beets.
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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