Confit line-caught cod with juniper ashes, butternut squash and liquorice sabayon

  • Starter
  • medium
  • 4
  • 60 minutes, plus 60 minutes preparation



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Confit cod

Squash purée

Squash dice

Liquorice reduction

Black treacle sauce

Liquorice sabayon

To plate

For the cod, heat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4
Roast the juniper berries for 5 minutes, then cool. Blend to a powder. Blend half of the powder with the salt to make a juniper salt
Take a blow torch and carefully burn the other half, to make a juniper ash. Add this to the olive oil
  • 400ml of olive oil
Season the cod with the juniper salt and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes to add flavour and firm the fish texture
  • 500g of cod fillet, skinned and portioned into 4
Warm the olive oil to 52°C in a shallow pan. Add the cod and cook for 15-20mins. Do not allow the oil to rise above 56°C as it will overcook your cod
The cod should remain opaque and will gently flake apart. Keep in a warm place until ready to serve. The fish should be served warm not hot
For the squash purée, heat the oven to 180°C/Gas mark 4
Peel and dice the squash into equal size pieces. Reserve the top of one of the squashes
Take a roasting tray and add all the ingredients for the purée and half the butter. Roast for 45-60 minutes. Remove the rosemary and lemon, and blend for 5 minutes
Add the rest of the butter and some water to make a purée. Pass the purée through a sieve, and add seasoning if needed. Keep chilled; reheat when needed
  • 50g of butter
For the squash dice, using one of the squash tops from the purée, dice into small cubes
Cook for 1 minute in boiling salted water. Refresh in cold water then drain. To serve, mix with a splash of olive oil and season
For the liquorice reduction, combine all the ingredients in a saucepan, then bring to a boil. Turn down the heat and slowly reduce by half. Set aside until needed
For the treacle sauce, pick the leaves off 4 sprigs of rosemary and blend with 200ml of water. Pass through a sieve
Place the treacle and rosemary water in a pan with the garlic. Bring to the boil and slowly reduce by half. Adjust the seasoning
For the liquorice sabayon, melt the butter in a pan or microwave. Leave for 5 minutes. The fat and the milk solids will separate
  • 130g of clarified butter
The milk solids will be at the bottom, so tip out the clear fat and discard the milk solids
Put 40ml of the liquorice reduction and egg yolks in a bowl set over a pan of simmering water. Whisk continuously until the yolks are light, fluffy and ribbons are forming. This should take 3 minutes maximum
Do not allow the eggs to get too hot or stop whisking or you will have scrambled eggs
Remove the bowl from the heat and place on a work surface with a towel underneath to stop the bowl from moving
Slowly whisk in the melted butter little by little, until you have a rich, thick and glossy sauce. Add seasoning and a splash more reduction if needed
To serve, warm the purée, then using a paint brush decorate your plate with liberal strokes to give a dramatic effect
When brushing use the full width of the brush with plenty of purée; this will give a layered effect to the purée, rather than a smeared effect
Place the squash dice around the plate, and spoon the treacle sauce over
Remove the cod from the oil and place on the plate, then dot the sabayon on and around the dish. Garnish with some micro cress
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