Dominic Chapman's classic snails with garlic butter recipe features a heady garlic butter which the snails are cooked in before serving. Topped with crispy garlic breadcrumbs and Gorgonzola cheese, this makes a rich starter and is a great way to try eating snails. You will need 4 snail dishes, cast iron dishes with holes for the snails to sit in, to serve this recipe.
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Begin by preparing the stock for the snails. Add the butter and oil in a heavy-bottomed pan and place over a medium heat. Allow the butter to melt and brown for a few minutes
300g of unsalted butter
50ml of vegetable oil
Add the pancetta to the pan and cook until golden brown all over, then stir in the carrots, shallots, onions and garlic. Cook for 5 minutes, or until the vegetables are evenly caramelised
100g of pancetta, chopped
350g of carrots, chopped
100g of shallots, chopped
100g of onion, chopped
50g of garlic, chopped
Mix in the snails and thyme, then pour the contents of the pan into a colander to drain any excess cooking fat from the pan. Place the empty pan back on the heat and deglaze with the vinegar and wine
10g of thyme
50ml of sherry vinegar
200ml of white wine
Allow the liquor to reduce down for a few minutes to create a glaze, then return the snails, pancetta and vegetables to the pan from the colander
Pour over the stock to cover the snails and bring the mixture up to the boil. Skim the surface to remove any impurities, then reduce the heat and leave to simmer for 1½ hours, or until the snails are tender
2l chicken stock
Meanwhile, make the garlic butter. Mix together the butter, garlic and parsley in a bowl until evenly combined. Season to taste and store in the fridge until needed
250g of unsalted butter, softened
100g of garlic, finely chopped
40g of parsley, finely chopped
freshly ground black pepper
For the garlic breadcrumbs, place the bread in a food processor and blend to create even crumbs
1/2 loaf of white bread, crusts removed and sliced
Melt the butter in a large pan, then add the breadcrumbs and garlic. Fry for a few minutes, moving the crumbs around in the butter until golden and crisp
125g of butter
1/2 head of garlic, finely chopped
Line a tray with kitchen paper and place a sieve over the top. Tip the golden crumbs into a sieve, allowing any excess oil to drain away. Allow to cool and reserve until serving
Remove the cooked snails from the stock and allow to cool, discarding the remaining stock
When ready to serve, preheat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 5
Fill the cavities of 4 snail dishes with the garlic butter and push a snail into each. Chop the Gorgonzola into small chunks and place a piece on top of each snail. Place in the oven for 5 minutes, or until hot and bubbling
Remove from the oven and scatter other the garlic breadcrumbs and chopped chives. Serve immediately with slices of toasted sourdough on the side
1 bunch of chives, chopped
sourdough bread, toasted
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