Hopfields: Escargot in Red Wine Shallot Butter

Gastropods from a gastropub? Gastronomically brilliant.

Hopfields on Guadalupe, right? That French-inflected gastropub near the UT campus? It’s got an impressive flotilla of craft beers, of course, although it’s the array of extraordinary food – Melanie Haupt told us that Hopfields’ jambon beurre sandwich is better than the many she’s had in Paris – that brings us back time after time.

Photo courtesy of Hopfields

The menu is supercharged these days by chef James Flowers, chef de cuisine at the Four Seasons hotel for four years back in the day, and can make your palate exclaim a happy “Sacre bleu!” whether you’re enjoying the limited dine-in possibilities (we especially recommend reserving a table on the back patio or deck) or ordering take-out.

But, no, you’d rather try making something French and really delicious at home right now? Thus showing this lousy pandemic that, by Brillat-Savarin, you can cook just as well as anyone? If only – OMG, if only! – you had a recipe for, say, Escargot in Red Wine Shallot Butter? Because you’re still thinking about that culinary snail article you read in the Before Times?

Well, who loves you, reader? Because, look what we got for you from Hopfields:

Escargot in Red Wine Shallot Butter

Ingredients:

24 snails – jarred or canned – from a specialty foods store like Spec’s or Central Market

2 cups red wine
1/2 cup beef bone broth
1/4 cup raspberry vinegar
1 tbsp. canola oil
1 large shallot, julienned
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 pinch sugar
1/2 tbsp. kosher salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1⁄2 cup soft unsalted butter
1 cup toasted panko bread crumbs
1 pinch fines herbs (equal parts parsley, tarragon, chives and chervil, all finely chopped)

Preparation:

Heat a large sauté pan over medium flame and add oil, then snails.
Sear snails on one side, shake pan and add shallots and garlic.
Cook for about 15 seconds until aromatics start to brown slightly.
Season liberally with salt and pepper, then deglaze with red wine and vinegar.
Reduce by half.
Add beef broth, lemon juice, sugar and a little more salt and pepper.
Reduce this addition by half over high heat, then add butter.
Bring to a boil to emulsify.
Add herbs and taste sauce. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
Transfer contents of pan to a small, shallow baking dish (a ceramic pie dish works great, or an oval earthenware casserole).
Top with more herbs and bread crumbs and bake at 450F for about 8-10 minutes until bubbly and golden brown.

Serving:

1) Place 10 heads of baby gem romaine lettuce (leaves picked off and assembled nicely on a serving platter)

2) Place the hot baking dish on a trivet in the middle of the table and instruct guests to place a snail in the lettuce cup with a spoonful of delicious sauce. This dish will serve 6-8 people as an appetizer.


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Hopfields, Escargot in Red Wine Shallot Butter, snails, snails, snails, Chronicle Cooking

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