Breadcrumbed halibut with white bean casserole

Rosario Guarneri serves crisp coated halibut with a Basque-style pimento and chorizo sauce and a rich pork and bean casserole
Breadcrumbed halibut with white bean casserole
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 45 minutes plus soaking overnight
  • Effort: easy


For the breadcrumbed halibut

  • 2 tomatoes, sliced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 200 g day-old white bread
  • small handful thyme, leaves only
  • 4x 180-200g halibut fillets

For the white bean casserole

  • 1 tbsp duck fat
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 thick slices dried ham, chopped preferably Bayonne ham, chopped
  • 2 smoked bacon, rashers, chopped
  • 200 g white beans, soaked in cold water overnight
  • few sprigs thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • small handful parsley
  • 1 tbsp tomato purée

For the pimento and chorizo sauce

  • splashes olive oil
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 2 carrots, chopped
  • 100 g chorizo, chopped into cubes
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 1 tbsp harissa
  • 500 ml veal stock


1. For the breadcrumbed halibut: preheat the oven to 120C/ gas ½.

2. Put the tomato slices on a baking sheet, drizzle over a tablespoon of the olive oil and scatter the garlic on top. Roast in the oven for at least 2 hours, or until the tomatoes are soft, nearly dried and turning in at the edges. While the tomatoes are roasting, start cooking the casserole.

3. For the casserole: heat the duck fat in a large pan over a medium flame. Tip the vegetables, ham and bacon into the pan and fry gently until softened, but not coloured.

4. Drain the beans and add them, all the herbs and the tomato purée to the pan. Stir and pour in 1 litre of water. Simmer the casserole for 2-3 hours over a gentle heat, adding a splash of water from time to time if the casserole starts to dry out. The casserole is done when the beans are soft all the way through and you can mash them easily with a fork.

5. For the sauce: gently heat the olive oil in a saucepan. Add the onion, leek and carrots to the pan and fry until softened, but not coloured. Add the chorizo and fry until the oil from the chorizo starts to run.

6. Pour the white wine into the pan and simmer until the volume of liquid has reduced by half. Add the veal stock and simmer again until reduced by half in volume.

7. Pour the sauce through a fine metal sieve into a clean pan and discard the contents of the sieve. Reheat the sauce if necessary and keep it warm while you finish the breadcrumbed halibut. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

8. To finish the halibut: preheat the oven to 185C/gas 5. Place the bread in a food processor and blend to make breadcrumbs. Add the tomatoes and thyme leaves to the food processor and pulse until well combined. Stir in the remaining olive oil.

9. Season the halibut with salt and freshly ground black pepper and press the breadcrumbs onto the surface of the fish. Place the halibut onto a roasting tray and roast for 8 minutes, or until the fish is cooked all the way through and the breadcrumb topping is crisp and golden-brown.

10. Serve the halibut with the pimento and chorizo sauce poured over, and the bean casserole on the side.

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