Smoked beetroot tartare, Cacklebean egg yolk, hazelnut


First published in 2018
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Fermented beetroot (makes 750g)

Shallot vinegar (makes 500ml)

Ember oil

  • 500ml of vegetable oil

Hung yoghurt

Smoked beetroot

Brined egg yolks

  • 500ml of water
  • 35g of salt
  • 10 egg yolks, (we use Cacklebean) – this allows for a few breakages
  • vegetable oil


This dish takes a bit of advance preparation. Begin 3 weeks ahead of time by fermenting the beetroot. Juice a third of the beetroot. Place a 1l Kilner jar on a kitchen scale and return the scales to zero. Add the remaining quartered beetroot to the jar and pour in the beetroot juice. Top up with a mixture of whey and water or just water. Calculate 2% of the weight of the contents of the jar and add this amount of salt to the jar. Seal the jar
Leave to ferment at a warm room temperature for about 3 weeks; keep away from direct sunlight. Once ready, the beetroot will be slightly softened and sour. The sealed jar can be stored in the fridge for up to 3 months. Once opened, use within 1 month
The shallot vinegar needs to be made at least 3 days in advance (but can be made up to 3 months in advance). Put the shallots in a sterilised jar and cover with the red wine vinegar. Seal and leave in the fridge for at least 3 days before using
Line a large sieve with muslin and set it over a deep bowl. Put the yoghurt into the sieve, then gather up the edges of the cloth and secure them together. Leave in the fridge overnight to allow the liquid to drain out of the yoghurt (this liquid or whey can be reserved and used in ferments
To make the ember oil, pour the oil into a large pot. Wearing heavy barbecue gloves and using appropriate tongs, gently place the burning hot ember into the oil. Cover with a lid and leave to infuse as it cools. Once cool, strain through a fine sieve. Store in an airtight container or jar in a cool, dark place
  • 500ml of vegetable oil
Preheat the oven to 210°C/gas mark 6–7. Drizzle each beetroot with oil, sprinkle with salt and wrap individually in foil. Bake for 1–1½ hours or until the core temperature reaches 90°C
Remove from the oven and allow to cool and steam in the foil for 15 minutes. Remove from the foil and rub off the skins
Take a flat tray with a steam insert (such as a deep roasting tray that will hold a flat steaming rack) and spread the apple wood chips over the bottom of the tray. Warm the tray over a medium heat until the chips start to smoke, then turn the heat down to low
Place the beetroot on the steam insert/steaming rack and set this over the smoking chips. Completely cover the top and sides tightly with oven-safe cling film so the smoke is sealed inside with the beetroot. Leave to lightly smoke for 7 minutes. Remove the beetroot from the tray and leave to cool
Make a brine by adding 500ml and 35g of salt to a pan and bring to the boil to dissolve the salt. Leave to cool
  • 500ml of water
  • 35g of salt
Once cooled, pour the brine into a deep bowl. Gentle add the yolks using your hands or a slotted spoon. Cover the surface of the brine with the vegetable oil so that the yolks are held down in the brine. Allow the yolks to brine for 1 hour at room temperature. To serve, gently remove the yolks with your hands or a slotted spoon
  • vegetable oil
  • 10 egg yolks, (we use Cacklebean) – this allows for a few breakages
Mince the 240g of the fermented beetroot with smoked beetroot with a mincer or chop finely with a knife. Season with the 1 tbsp of the shallot vinegar, the capers, a little ember oil and some salt and pepper
Using a small ring mould, make a disc of the beetroot mixture in the centre of each plate. Top with a layer of the hazelnut slices. Gently place a brined egg yolk to the side of each disc. Garnish with cracked black pepper and bittercress or watercress. Place a spoonful of the hung yoghurt to the side of each disc
First published in 2018
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