Snails with Red sauce recipe
The following recipe is considered a delicacy in Greece and really famous especially in Crete. Snails in red sauce is something that you even going to love or hate…but apparently i am in the first category.
Land snails are regularly consumed in Europe and you can find them as a starter or main dish in France, Italy and Spain as far as i am aware of. In France they are called “escargot” and they served on there own shell prepared with garlic and parsley butter.
On the other hand in Italy and Greece it is common to cook them with a variety of sauces.
While in Greece there are a variety of different recipes in regards to that dish, one of the most famous ones exist in Crete where they dish is called “Μπουρμπουριστοί Χοχλιοί” but please…don’t ask me to translated. I wouldn’t know…
Anyway, on our case we would prepare them with the same exact way we did in my house in Greece. This has been one of my favourite dishes of my father and he has given me that recipe a long time ago when i visited my parents in Greece.
Months after i visited them my father has sent me the following recipe so i can publish which i did. Translating the recipe word by word…as much as i could.. 🙂
So in this case you wouldn’t get the recipe from a 34 year old Greek in London but straight from the source!
Ingredients for Snails in Red Sauce
- 1.5-2 kilos of snails
- 3-4 kilos of onions
- 1 can of tomato juice
- 1 spoon of tomato paste
- 2 bay leaves
- salt, pepper
- 1 cinnamon stick
After a really rainy day we go to our garden and we gather some snails, approximately 1-2 kilos. (Most probably you wouldn’t wait much for a rainy day in London)
Alternatively, if you don’t have a garden, you can go to a park, or the famous English country side. If the two options are difficult you can go and buy from a shop that sell Cretan products.
In the case that you don’t have such a shop then you can look up to some of the Turkish ones that are around in London.
If after all these you still can’t find snails then you can do something else, cause you are not eating snails today.
Let’s say that we got around of 1.5-2 kilos of those screw worms crustaceans, we put them in a small pot with a cap and we sprinkle them with little water and flour so they can get out of there shell and they start to eat.
We close the lid we secure it. If you don’t do that the can open it up and they will see them all around your kitchen.
Once or twice a day we open the lid ( you’ll see that most are gathered around the lid ) pour everything into the pot, put enough water to cover the snails and stir relatively quickly for a while in order to clean and make them clean there shawls . After that we strain, sprinkle again with little flour and reseal.
(no need to sprinkle again with water because it is already damp )
This is repeated for at least three (3) days and always up to see them poop.
(yes poop, it is something subtle like threads that is pooping ) from black to become white . This means that the digestive system is clean of dirt that they normally eat. Also, you will see that the many agitations are gone as also the drool (foam ) .
Either way don’t expect that this will be perfect because this is how there body works and most probably they would be tasteless without any shawls.
The shell meanwhile, must be by now completely clean after so many washings.
Finally we reach the climax of the drama .After having cleanse the intestines, their shell and their shawls , it’s time to put enough water in a pot and bring it to boil. When the water is boiled, we add the snails and let them boil for 5 minutes. (the cruel and painful death of snails ) .
After we boil them we drain them and with just a knife (preferably sawtooth) cut the top of the shell being careful not to cut your fingers . This is to tuck the tastiness in the back but in addition to that when you suck them they go right up your esophagus.
Meanwhile prepare the sauce. In a pot put a good portion of olive oil, and cut in big portions some onions. ( twice the weight of the snail 1 to 2) Start to sizzle them but be careful not to over do it.
Pour a can of tomatoes juice ( 450g.) and a tablespoon of tomato paste ,2 bay leaves , spices, salt and plenty pepper , cinnamon and a spill a vegetable cube. The spices always depend on the persons taste. Of course add some water if necessary.
When our sauce is boiled then we add inside our snails and we let them boil together for some minutes. Our food then is ready!
Just make sure you have enough juice in the sauce as this food needs a lot of bread also to go along the sauce!
Go luck and good appetite .