I recently read this in a New York Times article about Chef Rene Redzepi, "A Danish Chef Draws Worldwide Acclaim" :
"During the months when the Nordic soil is stingy, Mr. Redzepi doesn’t just trot out the plants that he has had the good sense to pickle, smoke and such in advance. He wonders about the real potential of a potato or carrot.
"That happened last winter, and from it came a dish of what he calls 'vintage carrot,' which is an oversize carrot that spent much longer than usual in the ground and would be inedible raw. By roasting it in thick goat’s butter at a very low temperature for a very long time, he produces something meaty and mesmerizing, tasting partly of carrot, partly of beet, partly of turnip, partly of nothing remotely familiar.
"'You can’t get that flavor from a new carrot,' he observed, adding: 'How is a carrot supposed to taste? Perhaps the taste we’re getting is the original carrot.'"
Now I've never seen a carrot like that. But at the Union Square Farmers Market, we do get some fairly impressive specimens that look like they could be used for stool legs. Maybe 1 1/2" thick, some rare ones closer to two inches thick.
I've always looked at these and wondered... but it seems that the only extant recipes are for the spidery little carrots that are even skinnier than my pinky finger. I'm frankly tired of those pathetic specimens.
Does anyone have any experience slow roasting the large carrots? What temperature, and for how long? Coat them with oil? And/or salt? Any tips?