Step by step recipe:
- 30 min.Tip the cockles into a large container of cold water. Stir them round briefly and leave for 30 minutes.
- 3 min.After this time, remove the cockles form the water. It is important not to tip the contents of the container through a sieve (which will not extract the sand), but remove them carefully from the water.
See how on this video.
Discard the water, rinse out the container, refill it with clean water and put the cockles back in.
- 30 min.Leave to soak for another 30 minutes.
Repeat this operation until the water remains clear.
- 5 min.
- 2 min.
- 5 min.Add 100 ml dry white wine and bring to the boil.
- 2 min.As soon as the white wine boils, add the washed cockles...
- ...and cover.
- After a few minutes, the shells will begin to open. Stir them round in the pan so that those that are still closed are in the wine to give them the chance to open.
- 5 min.
- 10 min.Remove the contents of the cockles one at a time and discard the shells. Discard any cockles that have broken shells and any that have not opened.
- 2 min.Rinse the cockles under cold running water to remove any remaining sand.
- If you plan to use the cooking liquid to make a sauce, which is a very good idea, you will need to reduce it.
- 3 min.Pour the contents of the pan into a smaller pan through a fine sieve.
- Beware: the sand from the cockles will collect at the bottom of the pan, so it is important NOT to try and filter right to the last drop, but discard the liquid from the bottom (and the sand with it).
- 15 min.Reduce the remaining saved cooking liquid by around half over low heat before using in your recipe.
Remarks:When preparing cockles, you will encounter two problems: sand, which is very unpleasant in the mouth (so do follow the advice to deal with this) and the saltiness of the cooking liquid. If you use this to make a sauce, do not add any salt.
Cockles are mostly shells and water: for 1 kg of cockles you will only end up with around 100 g of useful cockle meat (90% waste).
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