James says ‘This is a classic French snail dish - perfect for indulging next to the fire on a romantic winters evening, or even for sharing on a summer’s evening in the garden with friends.’
‘We serve them with a delicious garlic parsley sauce. If you fancy something different, walnut and tomato butter works well too but, to me, the rich, buttery flavour of the garlic and parsley sauce with the snails is a winning combination.’
Garlic parsley butter
50g Garlic purée
350g Softened butter
50g Parsley, picked from the stalks
Water – to cover
A few sprigs of thyme
2 Bay leaves
Snails – The quantity will vary depending on how many people you have attending and whether the portions are as starters, main courses or to share. There will definitely be enough sauce for whatever you choose. As a guideline, for a starter, we serve guests 6 snails per portion.
To make the garlic parsley butter sauce:
1. Plunge the parsley into boiling salted water for 20secs then refresh in iced water. Doing this will give your parsley butter a vibrant green colour.
2. Next squeeze all the water out of the parsley
3. Chop the parsley finely, almost to a paste.
4. Then mix together with all the other ingredients.
To cook the snails:
1. Place the snails in a saucepan with the water, celery, leek, onion, carrot, thyme and 2 bay leaves. Bring to a simmer and cook for 2hrs.
2. When cooked and cooled, store them in vegetable oil until ready to use.
1. Pipe the garlic butter into the shells and place the snails on top. Then top with more garlic butter.
2. Cook in a staub escargot dish (or other suitable dish) in a wood fired oven for 6mins or, if you’re using a normal oven, cook for 10mins.
James Tyrell is the Executive Chef at Michelin-starred restaurant, L’Escargot.