The Fish Society – Halibut with Spicy Catalan Beans

We’re excited to be working with the Fish society on some recipes using their excellent fish. This is one of three posts we’ll be publishing over the next couple of weeks.

First a bit about The Fish Society. Founded by Alistair Bell over 25 years ago, The Fish Society is a small company with just 10 employees. Based 40 miles from the sea and 100 miles from the nearest fishing port all the fish is landed then frozen. This means they can offer the widest range of fish which they believe is “indistinguishable from fresh fish when it is cooked and on the plate”

They are 100% committed to frozen. It’s widely recognised that all fishmongers have some frozen fish in their range and The Fish Society firmly believe that unless you are eating the fish you have bought the same day or at the very latest the day after it is better to have high quality fish commercially frozen the same day rather than freezing it slowly in a domestic fridge. Another plus point about this organisation is that if you order by noon you can have your order the next day.

We were given 2 halibut portions, some smoked cods roe and some smoked scallops by The Fish Society. Watch out for our next two recipes.

Today, we are cooking the Halibut. I love simple pan fried Halibut, finished in the oven then served with a spritz of lemon and maybe a pinch of good sea salt. Halibut is a meaty fish in both density and texture and lends itself well to big bold flavours, which is what we’ve introduced it too here. The halibut is still the star of the dish but we’re serving it with a spicy Catalan bean stew. I have to concur the halibut is absolutely delicious and loses nothing in flavour from being frozen, it’s flaky, moist and as opaque as if it was landed fresh that day.

Halibut with Spicy Catalan Stew 

RECIPE ( Serves 4 ) 

  • 4 halibut portions
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
  • Coarsely ground black pepper
  • 2 shallots finely diced
  • 1 small cooking chorizo ( optional)
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • A glass of good dry white wine
  • 250g of tomato pulp ( half a can of chopped tomatoes as an alternative)
  • A large can of Cannellini beans
  • A good pinch of smoked Paprika
  • Freshly chopped herbs

Method

Heat the oven to 200/Gas mark 6

This is a relatively quick dish. Prep all the ingredients first and keep to one side. Heat a heavy based pan to very hot, brush the fish with olive oil and then carefully place skin side down. Cook the fish for 3 minutes each side and then either transfer to an oven proof dish or place your pan in the heated oven for a further 6 – 8 minutes. Whilst the fish is in the oven using the same pan, fry off the shallots, garlic and chorizo (optional) until the vegetables are softened and the chorizo has a good  deep colour. Add the wine and reduce on a high heat, followed by the tomatoes. Reduce by half. If your pan is hot enough this shouldn’t take more than 5-6 minutes. Remove the fish from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes whilst you finish off your stew. Returning to the stew, add the beans and good pinch of smoked paprika warm through and then place in a bowl. Place the rested halibut on top of the stew and strew with freshly chopped herbs. We used chives, fennel fronds and parsley.

 

 

 

To find out about more about The Fish Society and their enormous range of fish from over 150 suppliers. please visit their website They can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram 

The Fish Society sent us two portions of halibut at zero cost in return for a writing a recipe and talking about the fish. We were not under any obligation to right a positive review. 

 

 

 

 

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