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Dungeness Crab with Golden Beets

Serves 4
  • Steps
  • Ingredients


  • Preheat oven to 100C.
  • For the Cooked Crab, bring 2.5L water to the boil in a large saucepan and add salt. Prepare an ice bath by filling a large bowl with iced water.
  • Remove 4 back legs from crabs and reserve.
  • Place remaining crab, whole, into saucepan of boiling water. Cook for 12 minutes, uncovered.
  • Once cooked, remove from water, immediately plunge into iced water to refresh and allow to cool. Remove crab and crack legs, open shell and remove meat gently, keeping pieces whole. Place crab meat on a plate, cover with cling film and set aside in fridge until needed.
  • For the Beetroot Purée, peel and roughly dice the large golden beetroots and place into a saucepan. Cover with milk and water, add the fennel pollen and season with salt and pepper to taste. Place over a high heat and bring to the boil. Once boiling, reduce heat and simmer gently for 12 – 15 minutes, or until beetroot is soft. Add additional milk and water, as required, if liquid evaporates during cooking.
  • When beetroot is cooked, strain off the liquid and place beetroot in a stick blender canister. Blitz with a stick blender to form a stiff, smooth purée. Add butter and goat’s cheese and blitz again to combine to a thick purée consistency. If purée is too thick, use a little of the cooking liquid to reach desired consistency, ensuring the purée can hold it’s shape and not run. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
  • Pass the purée through a fine sieve then transfer to a small bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with cling wrap. Prepare a smoking gun with applewood smoking chips. Pierce the cling wrap with the nozzle of the smoking gun, turn gun on and allow the bowl to fill with smoke. Remove the nozzle and cover the bowl tightly with another layer of cling wrap to seal. Set aside for 5 minutes to smoke.
  • Once purée is smoked, uncover the bowl and set the purée aside, keeping warm until needed.
  • For the Pickled Beet Slices, place the sugar, vinegar and water into a small saucepan along with the fennel pollen and salt and pepper to taste. Place over high heat and bring to the boil, stirring until the sugar melts. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
  • Meanwhile, peel the small golden beetroot and use a mandolin to slice thinly, about 1mm thick. Add the beetroot slices to the cool pickling liquid and set aside for 5 minutes to pickle. When pickled, drain the beetroot and set aside until needed.
  • For the Dehydrated Tangelo Zest, zest the 3 tangelos and reserve the tangelo fruit to use later in the recipe. Spread tangelo zest onto a baking tray lined with baking paper. Place in the pre-heated oven and dehydrate for 45 minutes. Once dehydrated, set aside to cool on the tray until needed for the Beetroot Stems and to garnish.
  • For the Beetroot Stems, heat 2 tbsp oil in a medium fry pan over medium heat. Chop the reserved beetroot stems roughly and add to the pan. Cook until beetroot stems are soft and caramelised, about 5 minutes. Remove beetroot stems from the pan drain on kitchen paper.
  • Finely dice the cooked beetroot stems and place in a medium bowl. Add ½ a teaspoon of the Dehydrated Tangelo Zest, the fennel pollen and salt and pepper to taste. Toss well to combine then set aside, keeping warm until needed.
  • For the Tangelo Dressing, use a mallet to gently smash the reserved crab back legs. Place the smashed crab into a medium saucepan and add the vinegar, sugar, fennel pollen, water and salt and pepper to taste. Set over a high heat and allow to come to the boil.
  • Once boiling, reduce heat and allow to simmer for 8 – 10 minutes, or until mixture has reduced and is slightly thickened. Strain through a fine sieve, discarding solids. Transfer the crab reduction liquid to a small bowl and set aside to cool slightly.
  • Meanwhile, juice the two tangelos and strain the juice through a fine sieve. Combine the tangelo juice with reserved crab reduction liquid and whisk well to form a dressing. Set aside to cool completely until needed.
  • For the Tangelo Salad, finely shred the reserved beetroot leaves and place in a medium bowl and set aside.
  • Divide the tangelo into segments, removing all pith and membrane Add the tangelo segments to the beetroot leaves as toss to combine. Set aside until needed to serve.
  • To serve, remove the pieces of Cooked Crab from the fridge. Reserve the crab claw meat for garnish and add the remaining Cooked Crab to the Tangelo Salad. Drizzle over several tablespoons of the Tangelo Dressing and toss gently to combine.
  • Place a 10cm ring mould in the centre of each serving plate. Place 3 - 4 tablespoons of warm Beetroot Purée into the base of the moulds to about 1.5cm high and use the back of the spoon to level. Add a layer of the dressed salad. Remove the mould carefully then arrange overlapping discs of Pickled Beet Slices in a circular pattern with one slice in the centre. Place a spoonful of the Beetroot Stems on each plate next to the salad stack, and top with a piece of reserved crab claw meat.
  • Sprinkle each plate with a little extra Dehydrated Tangelo Zest and fennel pollen.

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