Smoked eel, tarragon mustard cream & baby beetroots

by Luke Robinson

This recipe uses hydrocolloids to thicken the beetroot juice into a jam consistency—very useful for plating the dish and adds a slightly acidic flavour. 


1 braeburn apple, peeled, diced and dressed with lime juice and water or a mixture of ascorbic acid and water
200g smoked eel, filleted and skinned, cut into 8 pieces and brought to room temperature

For the beetroots:
6 baby candy stripe beetroots
6 baby golden beetroots
6 baby red beetroots
Sea salt

For the beetroot gel:
400ml organic beetroot juice
100ml balsamic vinegar
5g salt
5g kelcogel F (low-acyl gellan gum) or agar agar
½g xanthan gum

For the tarragon mustard cream:
150ml double cream
2 tsp tarragon mustard
5cm fresh horseradish, grated and chopped


First prepare the beetroots. Simmer the candy and golden beetroots together and the red separately in salted water for 30-40 mins or until tender. Cool in the stock and then rub off the skins while still warm. Set aside in a container in the fridge.

For the beetroot gel, bring the beetroot juice, balsamic and salt up to a simmer in a large saucepan, then disperse the powders with a whisk.

Bring to 90C or up to boiling point—this will hydrate the thickening properties of the gellan gum—taking care not to let it overflow, as the beetroot juice will foam up. Allow the mix to set in a tray before passing through a fine sieve to avoid aeration of the gel. Place in a plastic piping bag.

For the tarragon mustard cream, whisk the cream to ribbon stage before whisking in the flavourings. Set aside ready to quenelle.

Cut the beetroots in half, on a board wrapped in cling film to avoid staining (use gloves), then lay a mixture of different beetroots over a plate. Pipe on blobs of beetroot gel.

Now nestle in the smoked eel, then drain the diced apple and spoon it over. Finally, quenelle the mustard cream using a spoon in boiling water to get a nice smooth surface.

Recipe: Luke Robinson