Snails “à la pied-noir”
Courtesy of The Courier Mail
Pied-noir (meaning black feet) refers to the French people who used to live in North Africa until the early 60’s. The region was a melting pot of North African, French, Jewish, Spanish and Italian influences and truly developed its own cuisine full of rich Mediterranean flavours.
So, rather than the traditional garlic-butter sauce, we are presenting here a delicious tomato sauce-based recipe, showing that Escargots can actually accommodate a whole range of flavours.
Ingredients (make 24 snails/4 people)
Jar or tin of 24 snails
24 snail shells
80ml of white wine
1-2 tbsp olive oil
½ an onion, finely diced
1 garlic clove, finely diced
2 bay leaves
a little parsley to decorate each snail
2 tsps flour
1 tsp cumin
Couple sprigs of thyme
100g finely diced bacon
2-3 large tomatoes, finely diced or a 250g tin of pureed tomatoes
30g almond slivers lightly roasted
Chilli (Espelette is best, Tabasco will do)
Salt and pepper to taste
- In a large fry pan, cooked the bacon, onion and garlic in the olive oil until golden, then add the white wine.
- Once it's boiling again, add the bay leaves, tomato puree, almonds, cumin, thyme, salt and pepper and maintain to simmer for at least 15 min but ideally 30-45min. If required, keep adding a little bit of water to keep the sauce a little runny.
- Add the pre-cooked snails to the sauce and simmer for 5-10 min and add a little hot chilli to taste.
- With a teaspoon, carefully add a little sauce into each shell and then a snail with more sauce.
- Present on a plate with a bit more sauce in the centre and accompanied with a slice of baguette and a glass of light red, rose or white wine.