My parents used to take us to Gujan-Mestras, near Arcachon on the Atlantic coast, to celebrate the oyster festival, so I’ve made my own tradition by putting this on the menu every year.
- 4 dozen oysters such as Sydney rock, freshly shucked
- 100 ml good-quality red wine vinegar
- 80 gm golden shallots, finely chopped
- 600 gm coarsely minced pork belly
- 2 tbsp truffle oil
- 8 thin slices of truffle (about 10gm)
- 120 gm caul fat, soaked in cold water for 1 hour, drained, then cut into 8 pieces (see note)
- 1For mignonette, combine red wine vinegar and shallot in a non-reactive bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate until required.
- 2For truffle crépinettes, combine pork belly and truffle oil in a large bowl, mixing well to combine. Season to taste. Divide mixture into 8 equal balls, then flatten slightly to form a patty. Place a truffle slice on each and wrap in a piece of caul fat, making sure it overlaps completely to seal. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over medium heat, add truffle crépinettes and cook, turning occasionally, until golden (8-10 minutes). Keep warm.
- 3Arrange 6 oysters around edges of plates and spoon a little mignonette over each. Place a crépinette in the centre and serve with extra mignonette to the side.
Note Caul fat, also known as crépine, is the lace-like fatty membrane that surrounds the intestines and stomach of cows, sheep and pigs. It melts while it cooks, so is a useful alternative to casing. Available from select butchers, it will need to be ordered ahead.
Drink Suggestion: A dry Entre-Deux-Mers wine from Bordeaux or a blanc de blancs Champagne. Drink suggestion by Bruno Loubet