For Braising: 12-14 heritage carrots of all sizes and shapes, including 2cm of tops
Chewy Carrots: 5 small to medium carrots (if medium, cut in half lengthways or even into quarters)
Herbs: sprigs of tarragon, thyme, sage
½ litre carrot juice
100g butter, cold and diced
Chef at Galway’s Michelin-starred Loam, Enda McEvoy, says: “We always have a vegetarian course on the tasting menu. This dish showcases the carrot and the different textures and flavours you can get out of the one vegetable. In the restaurant we use the whole vegetable, carrot tops and carrot seeds included.”
In a heavy shallow saucepan add the butter, herbs and whole carrots. Cook on a low heat. Cover with a lid and ensure that all the carrots are in a single layer on the bottom of the pan. Keep moving the carrots and baste them regularly until the carrots are cooked. Change the butter or herbs if they burn.
Cook the carrots in a zip-lock bag in boiling water until just undercooked. Then dry the carrots in a low oven (80˚ – 100˚ C) for 4 hours.
Reduce the carrot juice to a glaze. In a separate saucepan, heat the buttermilk/whey and whisk in the butter bit by bit. Next whisk in the glazed carrot juice and keep warm.
Carve the larger braised carrots into more manageable sizes. Reheat the chewy carrots with the glaze and arrange amongst the braised carrots. Pour over some of the carrot buttermilk sauce and dress with the herbs.