Nigel Mendham's stunning beetroot with goat's cheese recipe demonstrates just how well these two ingredients go together. The accompanying celery sorbet ingeniously cuts through the richness of the goat's cheese and earthiness of the beetroot.
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First make the celery sorbet. Bring the water, sugar, glucose and citric acid to the boil, then remove from the heat, ensuring all of the sugar has dissolved. Allow to cool then chill in the fridge
Blanch the celery in boiling water for 30 seconds, then drain and cool in iced water. Roughly chop the stalks and place in a blender with the apple juice. Blitz until smooth, then add to the chilled syrup and pass through a fine sieve. Add to an ice cream maker and churn as per manufacturers instructions, storing in the freezer until required
To make the custard, bring the cream, goat's milk and goat's cheese to a simmer, then remove from the heat. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before whisking in the softened gelatine, then leave to infuse for 25 minutes
Pass the custard through a sieve, taste to check the seasoning before pouring into individual moulds. Place in the fridge and leave to set for at least 3 hours
To make the beetroot gel, pour the beetroot juice into a pan and bring to the boil. Add the agar agar and boil for 2 minutes, whisking continuously. Remove from the heat, pout into a shallow container and allow to cool before setting in the fridge
Once set, tip the gel into a blender and blitz until smooth. Season with a little salt and red wine vinegar, then transfer to a squeezy bottle until ready to use
Place a pan over a high heat and add the beef trimmings. Pan-roast until nicely browned, then drain any excess oil from the pan
Add the shallots to the pan with the beef on a medium-high heat and fry until golden. Add the savoy cabbage, sweat for 2 minutes and then deglaze the pan with a glass of the beetroot juice. Add the remaining beetroot juice and reduce by half
Pass through a fine sieve, then through a sheet of muslin into a fresh pan with the beef stock. Reduce the sauce until thick and bubbling, then remove from the heat and whisk in cubes of the cold butter
Season with red wine vinegar and salt, stir in the diced beetroot and set aside until required
For the beetroot garnish, set the oven to 180˚C/gas mark 4. Place one of the golden and candied beetroot on a foil lined tray and season generously with salt. Bake for approximately one hour or until a knife easily runs through the middle
Remove from the oven and allow to cool slightly, but peel while still warm for ease. Use the small part of a melon baller to create small balls of the candy beetroot and cut a fine dice of the golden beetroot. Keep separate and store in the fridge until required
Peel and slice the remaining golden beetroot on the finest setting on a mandolin. Toss together with pinch of salt and a small dash f red wine vinegar and set aside. Peel and slice the white beetroot slightly thicker and set aside. You will need 5-6 slices of white beetroot per portion
For the croquettes, warm the goat's milk and butter together in a pan. Sieve the flour and gradually stir into the goat's milk. Cook out the flour over a medium heat, stirring slowly (as you would a choux paste)
Add the goat's cheese (not the Crottin de Chavignol), mix well until combined and allow to cool to room temperature
Add the mix to a bowl of an electric food mixer and slowly add the eggs, mixing until incorporated. Check the seasoning of the mix, then crumble in the Crottin de Chavignol goat's cheese
Transfer to a piping bag fitted with a large nozzle and pipe the mixture into croquette-sized cylinders. Place in the fridge to chill and firm up
Prepare 3 bowls for coating and roll the chilled croquettes in each. Deep fry for 2-3 minutes at 180˚C until golden brown. Remove from the oil, drain on kitchen towel and season with salt
To plate, overlap 5-6 slices of the white beetroot down the centre of the plate followed by the set custard. Next add the sliced and diced golden beetroot and mini balls of candy beetroot. Finish with the gel, dressing, hot croquettes, quenelle of the sorbet and baby beet leaves
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