Smoked eel carbonara

GBC Boeynaems Carbonara FILM 1080P 5 1 23
  • medium
  • 4
  • 7 hours plus 4 days for curing and dehydrating the egg yolks

This carbonara-inspired dish by Ben Boeynaems uses chunks of diced, smoked eel in place of guanciale. The whole dish is a celebration of different forms of egg yolk - confit, smoked, cured and dried. It's garnished with slivers of candy beetroot and a smoked eel oil-infused rye crumble.

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First published in 2023

Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Smoked, cured egg yolk

Smoked eel oil

  • 100g of smoked eel, bones and trim only
  • 500g of rapeseed oil

Casarecce

  • 570g of 00 flour, such as Gran Mugnaio
  • 350g of egg yolk
  • 15g of olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 10g of salt

Carbonara base

Confit smoked egg yolk

Smoked eel vinaigrette

Candy beetroot

Pickled preserved lemon

  • 100g of cane sugar
  • 100g of distilled malt vinegar
  • 2 preserved lemons, rind only, sliced into strips and then cut on a bias into small diamonds

Rye crumble

  • 100g of rye flour
  • 4g of salt
  • 50g of water

Smoked eel

Carbonara

Equipment

  • Dehydrator
  • Smoking gun
  • Pasta machine
  • Sous vide or water bath
  • Vacuum bag and machine

Method

1

Blend the smoked salt, sugar and black pepper together. Sprinkle this mixture on, under and around the 10 egg yolks

2

Transfer to the fridge and let the egg yolks cure for 3 days

3

Remove the egg yolks from the salt mixture and rinse off any excess cure, then let dry

4

Dehydrate the egg yolks in a dehydrator set to 30°C for 12 hours

5

Once the egg yolks are dried and cured, smoke the egg yolks with oak chips using a smoking gun. Blast the egg yolks with smoke every 10 minutes over a period of 1 hour, or until the egg yolks have a dark residue on the outside. Set aside

6

To make the smoked eel oil, vacuum pack the smoked eel bones and trim together with the rapeseed oil

  • 100g of smoked eel, bones and trim only
  • 500g of rapeseed oil
7

Transfer to a sous vide heated to 85°C, and infuse the oil for 2 hours

8

Once infused, pass the oil through a fine mesh strainer and chill in in the fridge

9

While the smoked eel oil infuses, mix together the flour, egg yolk, olive oil and salt. Feed through a pasta extruder using a die for casarecce, and cut the casarecce when they’re the length you want. You might need to adjust the amount of flour or liquid to get the right consistency for your pasta machine

  • 570g of 00 flour, such as Gran Mugnaio
  • 350g of egg yolk
  • 15g of olive oil, plus extra for drizzling
  • 10g of salt
10

Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to the boil

11

Add the pasta to the water in batches, and cook each batch for 90 seconds

12

Drain the pasta, and then transfer to a tray to cool. Drizzle the cooked pasta with olive oil to stop it sticking

13

Portion the pasta out to 60g servings

14

To make the carbonara base, bring the chicken stock to the boil with the smoked eel bones, skin and head, parmesan rind and salt

15

Simmer until the stock has reduced to 200ml, and then pass through a fine mesh sieve

16

Add the sauce back to a pan, and whisk the butter into the sauce a few cubes at a time to emulsify it. Alternatively, use a stick blender to blend the butter into the sauce

17

Heat the smoked oil to 65°C in a low oven

  • 200g of smoked oil
18

Add the egg yolks to the warmed oil

19

Cook the egg yolks in the oil at 65°C for one hour, or until the yolks have a jammy texture. Set aside

20

Once the smoked eel oil is cool, whisk the ingredients for the smoked eel vinaigrette together with 200g smoked eel oil

21

Dress the julienned beetroot in the smoked eel vinaigrette to taste

22

Add the sugar and vinegar to a pan and bring to a boil. Pour the syrup over the preserved lemon rind and set aside

  • 100g of cane sugar
  • 100g of distilled malt vinegar
  • 2 preserved lemons, rind only, sliced into strips and then cut on a bias into small diamonds
23

To make the rye crumble, mix the flour, salt and water together to form a crumble. Heat up the smoked eel oil in a pan, and then add the crumble. Fry until golden and crisp

  • 100g of rye flour
  • 4g of salt
  • 50g of water
24

Strain the excess oil from the crumble, and then set aside on paper towels to drain

25

To make the carbonara, first remove the skin from the smoked eel fillet, as well as the layer of fat underneath it

26

Chill the skinned fillet and then, using a sharp knife, dice it up

27

Bring 100g of the carbonara base to the boil, and add 240g of the casarecce, the parmesan and 50g of the diced, smoked eel

28

Stir until the pasta is warmed through and the cheese has melted. Add the chopped chives and stir to combine

29

Warm four bowls for serving the pasta, and then spoon the carbonara into the bowls

30

Top each serving with a confit egg yolk, and then scatter over some of the pickled preserved lemon and rye crumble

31

Finish by grating over some of the smoked, cured egg yolk and garnishing with the dressed candy beetroot and some dill fronds

First published in 2023

Ben Boeynaems began his career working for the likes of Gordon Ramsay and Eric Chavot in some of London’s most renowned kitchens. His refined yet approachable style of classical cookery has since led him to head and executive chef positions at The Goring and The Beaumont Hotel.

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