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Escargot are among the many delicacies the French have gifted the world. Snails are delicious when cooked with a little garlic butter and accompanied by a good glass of white wine. While snails aren't something one usually consumes on a daily basis they are certainly a wonderful treat to prepare on special occasions.
But how to make escargot at home? Fine Dining Lovers tells you everything.
HOW THE FRENCH HARVEST ESCARGOT
The harvesting of snails is a traditional practice in several regions of France. There are two main species in France: the Burgundy snail, called gros gros blanc or 'snail of the vines', which is about 5 cm (2 in) in diameter; and the small gray, also called snail weighing or bordered and measuring about 4 cm (1.5 in).
In France, it is allowed to harvest snails from private domains such as gardens (no legislation) but also in certain public areas under certain conditions. The main rule of thumb is that the Burgundy snail must be collected when its shell reaches at least 4 cm (1.5 in) and it is forbidden to "pick it" between 1 April and 30 June or during its breeding season.
The small gray snail must reach a minimum of 3cm (1.25 in) and must have a bead at the base of its shell, which certifies that it has reached the adult age.
HOW TO MAKE ESCARGOT
Once the snails are selected, here's how to prepare them:
- Start by putting the snails to fast for 3 days to empty their intestines
- Rinse under cold water and boil for 20 minutes in hot water
- Drain then rinse the snails and remove them from their shells
- Cut the intestine and rinse well with clear water to remove the remaining drool
- Boil 1 liter of water with thyme, bay leaf, onions and fish stock and dip the snails for 1hr and 20 min
- Let cool in broth and drain
You can then make the snails as you like, the most common recipe being to cook them with butter. For it :
-Mix 250g (9 oz) of softened butter, fresh parsley, 3 cloves of chopped garlic, a pastis cork, salt and pepper
- Place a bit of this butter at the bottom of each shell, insert the snail into its shell and cover again with butter
- Place them in a dish and grill them in the oven.
In this video famed French chef Ludo LeFrevbre, who grew up in Burgundy, shares his favorite tips for how to make escargot with butter: