Black treacle sauce
1. What makes this cod and juniper recipe from Pascal Aussignac so special is the intensity of both flavour and colour - the butternut squash purée makes for a vibrant shock across the plate whilst the liquorice and juniper flavours set the tastebuds alight.
- 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.
- Season the cod with the juniper salt and leave in the fridge for 30 minutes to add flavour and firm the fish texture.
- 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.
2. 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.
3. 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.
4. 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.
5. 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.
- 200ml of white wine vinegar
- 200ml of water
- 40g of liquorice stick
- 1 star anise
- 10 fennel seeds
- 15 black peppercorns
- 25g of sugar
6. For the treacle sauce, pick the leaves off 4 sprigs of rosemary and blend with 200ml of water. Pass through a sieve.