Pot Au Feu of Homemade Fregola and Young Roots with Caramelized Onion Consommé, Leek Ash and Bordeaux Spinach
For the Homemade Fregola:
Add the flour and salt to a dough mixer, slowly pouring in the cold water until a dough is formed. Extrude the fregola dough through an ⅛-inch die onto a sheet pan covered with parchment paper. Allow the fregola to dry for 24 to 48 hours at room temperature.
Heat the olive oil in a large round pan over medium heat. Add the dried fregola and cook for about 10 minutes or until golden. Drain the fregola of the oil and place it onto a parchment-covered sheet pan.
Add 1 quart of the toasted fregola to a pot of boiling lightly salted water. Cook the fregola for about 12 minutes, drain and toss with a touch of olive oil. Refrigerate until ready to use.
For the Caramelized Onion Consommé:
Place the onions, water, and salt in a deep, full-sized hotel pan and cover with foil. Cook the onions in a 200°F oven for 36 to 48 hours, or until the broth takes on a deep gold hue. Strain the consommé through a perforated hotel pan set over another pan; reserve 5 onions for the Leek Ash and 1 quart of the consommé for the Young Root Vegetables. Reduce the remaining consommé by ⅓ to intensify its flavor and viscosity. Season to taste with Banyuls vinegar and additional salt, if necessary. Strain the consommé through a coffee filter and set aside.
For the Leek Ash:
On a foil-lined sheet pan, bake the leek tops in a 500°F oven until they are evenly charred. Julienne the leeks, cutting in the direction of the fibers, then dice them as small as possible. Add the onions, olive oil, Italian parsley, lemon juice and zest to the leeks, seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.
For the Young Root Vegetables:
Place each root vegetable in a separate pot and evenly distribute the reserved consommé among the pots. Add 1 teaspoon salt to each pot, cover with a cartouche and cook on low heat until the roots are al dente. Allow the roots to cool in the liquid.
To Assemble and Serve:
Warm the fregola in the seasoned consommé; combine all of the roots and their liquids and warm gently. Wilt the Bordeaux spinach in 1 cup consommé and season with salt. Finish the fregola and root vegetables each with 1 tablespoon parsley. Warm the leek ash and the remaining consommé.
Arrange the spinach at the base of the plate. Spoon the fregola over the spinach and place the root vegetables on top, leaving any liquid behind. Add 1 quenelle of leek ash to the side of the plate. At the table, pour the caramelized onion consommé.