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Braised lettuce polonaise

"This composition is a hybrid riff on two classics: polonaise, which is a garnish usually served over cauliflower, and braised lettuce, traditionally cooked in veal stock and served as a garnish," says Todd Garratt. "Coeur de laitue (heart of lettuce) is a real treat; the tender heart is worth fighting over at the dinner table. The contrast of silky egg, salty yolk and yielding lettuce is our interpretation of how two die-hards can make a new mark." You'll need to start this recipe at least five days ahead to cure the egg yolks.

You'll need

4 eggs (60gm each), at room temperature 2 baby cos 50 gm butter, coarsely chopped   Cured egg yolk 100 gm fine sea salt 100 gm caster sugar 2 egg yolks   Parmesan stock 200 gm parmesan rinds (see note) 750 ml (3 cups) chicken stock   Golden parsley crumb 100 gm butter, coarsely chopped 100 gm coarse breadcrumbs from day-old bread, such as sourdough ¼ bunch (¼ cup) coarsely chopped flat-leaf parsley, plus extra to serve


  • 01
  • For cured egg yolk, combine salt and sugar, then place a third of the mixture into a small plastic container. Make 2 divots with the back of a spoon for the yolks, leaving enough room for the salt mixture to surround each, then carefully lower the yolks into the divots and cover with remaining salt mix. Cover the container and refrigerate until yolks are firm and dried (5-7 days; check after a couple of days to make sure yolks are still covered with salt mix). Brush off salt mix, remove from container and refrigerate until required.
  • 02
  • For parmesan stock, combine parmesan rinds with chicken stock in a saucepan and simmer over medium heat until stock is well flavoured (40-50 minutes), then strain (discard rind). Makes 500ml.
  • 03
  • For golden parsley crumb, melt butter in a large frying pan over medium heat and toast breadcrumbs, stirring frequently, until golden (3-5 minutes), then season to taste and add chopped parsley. Tip out onto absorbent paper and keep warm.
  • 04
  • Heat a saucepan of water that will fit a small colander or noodle basket to 62C over very low heat, then immerse fresh eggs, trying to maintain the temperature for 50 minutes. Drain and peel.
  • 05
  • Meanwhile, remove outer leaves of cos revealing the tender hearts and halve. Heat butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat until starting to foam and colour (3-5 minutes), then slide cos hearts in cut-side down, season generously and add a little parmesan stock to moisten. Cover with buttered parchment paper and braise until just cooked (2-4 minutes). Transfer to warm plates.
  • 06
  • Gently place an egg on top of each cos half, pour pan juices over, sprinkle generously with parsley crumbs, grate cured egg yolk over, scatter with chopped parsley and serve.
Note If you don't have reserved parmesan rinds, use a 150gm piece of parmesan cheese.

At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

Drink Suggestion

2010 Domaine des Comtés Lafon Meursault “Clos de la Barre” Chardonnay.

Featured in

Oct 2013

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