The fresh tuna and crispy pancetta go down a treat.
- absolutely fresh tuna
- seasoning – salt and pepper
- mixed fresh herbs (whatever is seasonal)
- french beans
- olive oil
- extra virgin olive oil
- As tuna is the core ingredient in this recipe, you need to be sure that you are getting the best tuna possible. This means that the tuna must be fresh and I mean very fresh.
- The first thing to do is to start reducing your balsamic dressing over a low heat for whatever length of time it takes to get the sweet and thick consistency that is required. You may need to add sugar as a lesser balsamic can become quite bitter as it reduces. This reducing can be done days or even weeks in advance and the reduction stored in a fancy bottle (it has lots of uses).
- Finely chop the fresh herbs (leaves only) and place in a tray. The crushed pepper and sea salt can be mixed through the chopped herbs. Mix some of the balsamic reduction with extra virgin olive oil and leave aside for later. Top and tail the French beans to an even length. Blanch them in boiling water for about 2 or 3 minutes until they’re cooked but crunchy.
- Once cooked run them under ice cold water to stop them from cooking any further. This will also cool them down. Then take 5 or 6 beans and wrap them with the pancetta. Make sure the pancetta is long enough to overlap as this will keep the whole lot together. Place the pancetta wrapped French beans aside.
- Finally take your piece of tuna and cut it into even wedges in order that it can be cut properly once cooked. Season the tuna well with freshly ground pepper and sea salt.
- To Cook:
- Cover the pan with olive oil and heat until the oil begins to spit. Then place the tuna on the hot pan and sear on all sides, leaving each side down for no more than one minute. In fact it’s better to keep rotating the tuna.
- At the same time place the pancetta wrapped French beans into the pan and cook until the fat of the pancetta is golden brown all round.
- Once sufficiently seared, take the tuna from the pan and place it on the bed of freshly seasoned herbs. Roll the tuna around until it has a nice coating of the fresh herb mix on it.
- On the plate, sparingly place the balsamic reduction (make a little design if you’re up to it). Stack two French bean wraps and place about 4 thinly sliced pieces of tuna on the plate opposite the French bean wraps. Have the tuna slices overlapping slightly.
- Finally take the balsamic/olive oil dressing and sprinkle very sparingly around the plate. The golden colour of the oil and the dark brown of the balsamic combined really set the dish alight.
- Hey Presto...You're done!!
More by Dermot McDonnell:
- Rack of Wicklow Mountain Lamb
- Pear Poached in Blackcurrant Juice with Bourbon Vanilla Ice Cream
- Fillet of Wild Sea Bass Tempura with Roasted Butternut Squash and Pancetta Purée