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Cornish salt pollack, squid and mussel stew

Pollack is generally a sustainable and economical alternative to cod. This full flavoured fish stew is a great way to make the most of it.

Ingredients

For the pollack
  • 4 x 200g/7oz pollack fillet, skin removed

  • 2 tbsp Cornish sea salt

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 110g/4oz cooked potato, cut into 1cm/½in pieces

  • 1 leek, cut into 1cm/½ in slices and blanched in boiling water for one minute and refreshed in cold water

  • 110g/4oz cooked butternut squash, cut into 1cm/½ pieces

  • 1 sprig fresh thyme

  • 2 garlic cloves

For the saffron sauce
To serve

Preparation method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

  2. For the shellfish stock, roast the prawns on a baking tray in the oven for 45 minutes.

  3. Meanwhile for the pollack, place the pollack onto a plate and sprinkle over the sea salt. Chill in the fridge for one hour

  4. Heat a large non-reactive frying pan until hot, add the remaining shellfish stock ingredients, except the orange juice, and fry gently for 2-3 minutes, or until golden-brown. Add the roasted prawns, the orange juice and enough water to just cover the pan contents. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for one hour.

  5. Strain the stock through a sieve; reserve the liquid and discard the rest. Heat the strained liquid in a saucepan until boiling. Reduce the heat and simmer until the volume of the liquid has reduced by three-quarters.

  6. When the pollack has chilled, remove from the fridge and rinse the pollack until all the salt is removed. Pat the fish dry with kitchen paper.

  7. Heat the olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Place the pollack, skin-side up, into the pan and cook for 2-3 minutes, or until the fish is a light golden-brown, then add the potato, leek, butternut squash, thyme and garlic.

  8. Cook for a further 3-4 minutes then turn the fish over and cook for a further minute, or until the fish is cooked through. Set the fish aside and allow it to rest for 1-2 minutes.

  9. Meanwhile, for the saffron sauce, place the shellfish and fish stock, tomatoes, tarragon sprig and saffron into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer until the volume of the liquid is reduced by three-quarters.

  10. Place the mixture into a food processor and blend until smooth. Strain the mixture through a sieve into a large, clean, lidded saucepan and return to the boil.

  11. Add the mussels, cover with a lid and cook for 1-2 minutes or until the mussels have opened. (Discard any mussels that have not opened.)

  12. Stir in the butter and season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add the chopped tarragon and chervil and mix until well combined.

  13. To serve, heat the oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Fry the squid for 1-2 minutes until cooked through. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  14. Place some of the vegetables into the bottom of each of four serving bowls and top each with a piece of pollack. Spoon the mussels, squid and sauce around the fish. Finish with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil.

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