HALIBUT WITH HAM HOCK

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This dish takes a bit of preparation with soaking the ham hock overnight but it’s well worth the effort. Ham hock is a really cheap cut of meat and is so versatile that we couldn’t resist pairing it with the delicious white fleshed halibut. Halibut is an excellent source of selenium, a trace mineral with many health benefits that your body needs in small amounts and provides over 100% of your daily dietary need. Selenium, niacin and omega-3 contents can help reduce the negative effects of chronic inflammation. The isle of Gigha, Scotland, is world renowned as producing the best sustainably farmed halibut, this helps to increase stocks in the wild to prevent overfishing.

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Ingredients

2 Halibut fillets (roughly 180g each)
1 Ham hock (medium sized)
1 Cannellini beans (tin)
3 Carrots (2 medium roughly chopped, 1 finely diced)
2 Onions (small)
1 Celery stick
3 Garlic cloves
1 Basil (small bunch)
30g Pine nuts
200ml Olive oil
20g Parmesan cheese
150ml White wine
100g Plain flour

Method

1. Sit the ham hock in cold water in the fridge overnight to help draw out the salt 
2. Take the hock out of the fridge and allow it to come to room temperature
3. Place the hock in a large saucepan and add enough water to just cover the meat
4. Bring to the boil with two of the chopped carrots and then gently simmer for 3 hours, to up the water if necessary
5. Toast the pine nuts in a pan over a medium heat until they are dark golden brown in colour but not burnt
6. Put the basil, garlic, 100ml olive oil, half the pine nuts and Parmesan cheese into a blender and pulse until finely chopped and combined to create a pesto
7. Chop the onion, carrot and celery into 1cm pieces and sweat off in a splash of olive oil with a crushed garlic clove until cooked but still firm
8. Add the white wine and cannellini beans and cook until the vegetables are softened 
9. Thinly slice an onion into rings, coat in flour and deep fry until crispy golden then leave to drain on some paper kitchen towels
10. Shred the cooked ham and stir through the bean ragout. Season with some of the cooking liquid from the ham, add salt and black pepper to taste 
11. Heat a little oil in a pan and add the halibut fillets
12. Allow them to caramelise on a medium heat for around 2 minutes, then flip over and add a knob of butter. Cook in the oven for 6 minutes. Remove and allow to rest
13. Place the ragout in the bottom of a bowl and top with the fish then drizzle with the pesto and garnish with the onion rings and remaining pine nuts