Rustle up this fantastic dinner dish of roast cod with garlic aioli and rich cognac vegetable sauce.


  • 50g/2oz butter beans

  • 2 eggs

  • 1 bulb of Florence fennel

  • 4 fillets of cod, skin on, each weighing about 175-200g/6-7oz

  • melted butter, for brushing

  • 6 basil leaves, thinly sliced

  • 1 tsp sea salt

  • freshly ground black pepper

  • 1 quantity Aioli

  • For the Aioli

  • 8 garlic cloves

  • olive oil mayonnaise

  • (peel and crush the garlic and mix with the mayonnaise)

  • For the Sauce

  • 225g/8oz chopped mixed carrot, leek, celery and onion

  • 50g/2oz unsalted butter

  • 1 tbsp cognac

  • 10g/1/4oz dried mushrooms

  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar

  • 1/4 red chilli

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 tsp Thai fish sauce (nam pla)

  • 570ml/1 pintfish stock

  • 1/2 tsp salt

  • 4 fresh basil leaves, finely sliced


  • 1.

    To make the sauce, sweat the mixture of carrot, leek, celery and onion in a large pan with half the butter, until soft. Add the cognac and let it boil, then add all the rest of the sauce ingredients, except the remaining butter and basil leaves. Simmer for 30 minutes then pass through a fine sieve. Bring the sauce back to the boil and simmer until it has reduced to about 150ml/5fl oz.

  • 2.

    Bring the butter beans to the boil in a large pan of salted water. Simmer gently until very soft. Remove from the heat and keep warm in the cooking liquid.

  • 3.

    Place the eggs in boiling water and boil for 8 minutes. Drain, remove the shells and keep warm.

  • 4.

    Remove the outer leaves of the fennel but don't cut off the tops. Slice into thin sections then cook in salted water until just tender. Drain and keep warm.

  • 5.

    Preheat the oven to 230C/450F/Gas 8. Roast the cod in the oven until just cooked through. This will take about 10-15 minutes depending on the thickness of the fillets. Place the cod on four warmed plates. Drain the butter beans and divide between the plates. Add the fennel, then cut the eggs in half and put one half on each plate, then add a spoonful of aioli to each serving.

  • 6.

    Bring the sauce to the boil and whisk in the last 25g/1oz of butter, then add the basil leaves. Pour the sauce over the butter beans, egg and fennel and serve.

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