Free range beef tartar, quail egg and bacon fritter, Parmesan mousse

  • For the cured beef
  • 300g swiss trimmed sirloin
  • 15g coarse salt
  • 15g sugar
  • 10ml fennel seeds
  • Sprig thyme
  • Sprig rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp chopped chives
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • For the pickled cucumber
  • 100ml sugar
  • 100ml white wine vinegar
  • 100ml water
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1/2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/2 tsp fennel seeds
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • For the Parmesan dressing
  • 1 yolk
  • 10ml lemon juice
  • 25g Parmesan
  • 5ml Worcestershire sauce
  • 5ml anchovies, chopped
  • 5ml capers, chopped
  • 180ml vegetable oil (or half vegetable, half olive oil)
  • For the quail egg and bacon fritter
  • 4 quail eggs
  • 60ml breadcrumbs
  • 4 rashers of lean streaky bacon, slowly baked till super crispy, chopped finely
  • Flour for dusting
  • 1 egg lightly beaten
  • Oil for deep frying
  • For the Parmesan mousse
  • 150ml cream
  • 150ml milk
  • 200g Parmesan finely grated
  • 1/2 small onion finely sliced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Sprig of thyme
  • 1 whole garlic clove
  • 3 egg yolks
For the beef:
1) Combine the beef, salt, sugar, fennel seeds, thyme, rosemary and bay leaf in a zip lock bag. Turn every few hours.

2) Remove the meat from the bag and wrap tightly in cling film until required.

For the pickled cucumber:
1) Combine the sugar, vinegar and water in saucepan. Stir to dissolve the sugar, then bring to the boil. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

2) Using a sharp knife or mandolin, slice the cucumber into thin ribbons. Toss the ribbons through the pickle, adding the fennel and coriander seeds, and leave to marinade for at least an hour.

For the Parmesan dressing:
1) In a medium size glass bowl add all the ingredients except the oil. With a whisk combine all the ingredients till emulsified.

2) Slowly dribble in the oils while stirring with a whisk till a thick emulsion is formed.

For the quail egg and bacon fritter:
1) Boil the eggs in simmering water for 1 to 1 1/2 minutes. Place eggs in cold water and peel immediately.

2) Mix the breadcrumbs with the bacon crumbs. Dry the eggs and dust in flour, then dip in the beaten egg. Roll through the crumbs evenly. Set aside in the refrigerator.

For the Parmesan mousse:
1) Combine all the ingredients except the yolks in a sauce pan.

2) Bring the milk/cream just short of the boil and remove from the heat, strain after 10 minutes. Return the milk infusion back to the saucepan.

3) Beat the yolks lightly. Pour a quarter of the hot cream/milk infusion over the yolks while stirring continuously. Pour this mix back into the saucepan.

4) Place back onto a moderate heat until the mixture begins to thicken. Remove from the heat immediately. Allow the mixture to cool, then refrigerate. Transfer mixture to cream gun when ready to use.

Final Preparation:
1) With a very sharp knife finely chop the cured beef and add 60ml of the parmesan dressing and the chopped chives. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper.

2) Mix the ingredients together, divide into four equal portions and mould on serving plates.

3) Drain the pickled cucumber and arrange on the plates.

4) Deep fry the quail eggs till crisp. Arrange on the plates.

5) And finally finish of the plates with the serving of the mousse.

Cook's Note: This dish is complemented well with a baby head of cos lettuce per serving, dressed in the Parmesan dressing.

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