There are some dishes that when you read them on the menu you think, ‘sounds interesting but will it work?' The dish in question was roast sea bass with butter beans, black pudding and chorizo with sherry vinegar. It sounds as if it has a Spanish influence, but black pudding with fish is nothing new.
It really bugs me when customers ask me to serve my scallops with black pudding. There are two reason why I will not do it; the first is that it's a marriage of ingredients first created by Bruno Loubet at his London restaurant L'Odéon where he served the seared slices of scallops and black pudding over a line of creamy mashed potatoes with a vivid green parsley and garlic sauce. It was a great dish and never off the menu but it has been copied so many times and mostly badly, which is the second reason for it never appearing on any of my menus.
- 4 x 200g pieces of hake
- 200g of good-quality butter beans
- 100g black pudding, diced
- 50g cooking chorizo finely diced (optional)
- 4 shallots, finely sliced
- Olive oil
- 2tbs sherry vinegar
- 200ml dark chicken stock
- Chopped parsley
- Rocket or watercress garnish
A word on the butter beans: the ones from Brindisa called Judión del Barco are the best; cooked ones in a jar or tin will pass, but if you can get the Navarrico variety they are lovely, and can be better than cooking them yourself.
If you are cooking your own beans, soak them overnight. In a large pot, gently simmer the beans in plenty of water with no salt until soft, then season with salt and pepper.
Heat the olive oil in a pan and cook the shallots until soft, add the black pudding and chorizo, and cook through. Bring the stock to the boil and reduce slightly.
In a non-stick pan, heat some more oil, place the fish on a plate, and season with salt and pepper.
Reheat the beans and remove most of the liquid, add the chorizo and pudding mix together with chopped parsley or chive, check the seasoning, add the stock and sherry vinegar, and keep warm.
Place the fish into the hot pan, skin-side down, then turn the fish over after about three minutes and cook on the other side for a further two minutes.
Spoon the mix onto the centre of four plates, add some spinach to the centre of the plate if you wish or garnish the edges with a little rocket or watercress, and place the cooked fillets of fish on top.
Recipe taken from Not Bad For a Taff: 40 Years at the Stove by Bryan Webb. Photography by Andy Richardson and Graham Williams