Roast cannon of monkfish, Spanish cassoulet, saffron and hongroise sauces – by Charles Halle

11 September 2006
Roast cannon of monkfish, Spanish cassoulet, saffron and hongroise sauces – by Charles Halle


(serves four)

For the cassoulet (enough for eight) 200g onion, finely chopped
20g duck or goose fat
75g tomato purée
800g tinned chopped tomatoes
1¼ litres chicken stock
500g dried haricots blancs (soaked for 24 hours)
4 cloves of garlic, smashed
3tbs paprika
Seasonings: fresh thyme, rosemary, bay leaf, mignonette, dried basil and oregano
2 Toulouse sausages
6 merguez sausages
4 small chorizo sausages

For the monkfish 75g butter
Salt and pepper
4 x 175g monkfish fillets
400g cassoulet (see above)
500g fresh spinach
150g sugar snap peas
250ml saffron sauce
125ml hongroise sauce

To make the cassoulet, sweat onion in fat, stir in tomato purée and fry off. Add chopped tomatoes, stock and beans. Boil and skim. Add garlic, paprika, herbs and sausages. Bake, covered, for 2hrs 20mins at 160ºC, gas mark 3.

The cook the monkfish, prepare four tinfoil squares with 50g butter and seasoning, then roll each portion of fish into a tight cylinder.

Remove the Toulouse sausage from the cassoulet, slice and return to the beans. Roast off the monkfish for about 15 minutes in a hot oven. Rest.

Reheat the cassoulet and sausages, keeping juices to a minimum.

Wilt the seasoned spinach. Boil the remaining 25g butter with 2tbs water and lightly stir-fry sugar snaps in this emulsion.

To serve, dress the cassoulet on the plate. Slice three medallions of fish per portion, place on the spinach and dress with the sugar snaps. Pour around a cordon of saffron sauce, and half-coat the monkfish with hongroise sauce.

Note: hongroise sauce is a demi-glaze-based sauce flavoured with paprika and finished with sour cream. Saffron sauce can be made either as a saffron-flavoured butter emulsion or by flavouring a fish fumet.

Charles Hallé

Photo © Rob Whitrow

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