Tag Archives: Burford

Fresh fish at at Bull at Burford

The most perfect fish dish

We’ve had a lot of positive feedback to the last couple of Bull Bulletins where Pablo gave his tips for how to cook a poached egg and how to make a hollandaise sauce, so I thought I’d share one of my favourite recipes from growing up in the south of France.

When I was a young boy in the early 60s my mother (pictured) used to work on the fish market in the middle of Montpellier. It was hugely popular and people came from far and wide to buy their fresh fish.

It’s difficult to believe now, but in those days monkfish was cheap and hardly anybody wanted to cook it. On Saturdays I would often walk all the way to the market to wait for my mother, who’d been there since 05:30, and walk home with her for lunch. I vividly remember her boss often telling her to take some monkfish home for Sunday lunch. Money was tight, so funnily enough we had Monkfish most Sundays!

My mother had developed her own version of ‘Bourride de Lotte’, which did not involve expensive ingredients and was very easy to cook. Obviously these days buying monkfish tails is a bit more expensive, but you’ll never eat a more delicious fish dish so I wanted to share the recipe.

The perfect monkfish recipe

To cook this for four people you’ll need monkfish tails for four people, ideally with the bone in (buy a couple of medium sized pieces of fish per person). And for the all-important sauce you’ll need 6 large tomatoes, 1 large onion, 4 leeks, 4 cloves of garlic, some parsley and a bouquet garni (you can buy these ready-made in the supermarket).

1. Steam the 6 large tomatoes, peel them and cut them up to remove all the grains, then chop them up into small pieces.

2. Finely chop the large onion, the whites of four leeks and four cloves of garlic, and some parsley, equivalent to two full table spoons.

3. Prepare a fresh 2-eggs mayonnaise (do not use shop-bought mayonnaise!) Let me know via a facebook comment if you need help with this and we’ll do it next time!

4. In a large casserole, put a glug of olive oil add first the chopped onions, the leeks and garlic, then the tomatoes and finally the parsley and the bouquet garni.

5. Season all that with salt and pepper and cook on a light heat for 20 minutes, tasting to make sure the seasoning’s right.

6. When this garnish is cooked, add in the fish pieces and cook for a further 20 minutes, again on a low heat, making sure the fish is covered by the sauce. (The monkfish will release quite a bit of water, that’s normal and good!)

7. When cooked, remove the fish, put into a serving dish and keep warm.

8. A little at the time, add your homemade mayonnaise to the sauce and stir in. When the sauce is ready pour over the fish and serve.

Take it from me that this is delicious served quite simply with boiled potatoes – that’s all we had back in those days – and if you want add some large croutons. (For the croutons: take slices of a baguette and cook lightly in olive oil. Not the healthiest addition but delightful with this dish.)

Bon appetit!

Couple in Bull at Burford Restaurant

Autumn offers and Pablo’s perfect Hollandaise

August was very busy, which is one reason I haven’t written in a while, and September looks to be the same. With 18 bedrooms that guarantees a lot of hustle bustle at the Bull and our staff love it when the hotel is busy, foremost among them our assistant Kali and head chef Pablo, pictured.

One thing we can never quite set our clock by, though, is how busy the restaurant will be and I have a theory that this comes down to human nature.

Burford is a picture-perfect town in the heart of the Cotswolds. It’s a great place to wander and pass the time and it also offers a lot of different places to eat, so in many ways I can understand why clients sometimes end up ‘eating out’, even if it means they’re missing out on the best food in Burford!

It all comes down to taste of course but I think our food is hard to beat and the dinner, bed and breakfast rate we’re offering is tough to find anywhere else. Click HERE to see what I mean.

Eye for a photo?

One thing we’ve been missing is some nice pictures of the food we serve. Our chef Pablo recently took some photos of a selection of dishes, which are on our Facebook page, but he’s no David Bailey!

So I am offering someone the chance to ‘win’ a meal for two at the Bull, in return for coming in and taking some beautiful photos of Pablo’s best work. If you’re local and a budding photographer – ideally with experience of photographing food – send some examples of your work to us at info@bullatburford.co.uk and we could invite you and your camera into the kitchen, in return for a meal for two!

Pablo’s Perfect Hollandaise!

Finally, in my last Bulletin I shared our tips for the perfect poached egg. You’ve been asking about the hollandaise sauce to go with it, so here is Pablo’s recipe. Read this with a strong Spanish accent if you can:

1. It all starts with your eggs and I like them to be fresh! Separate two eggs, the whites and yolks into separate bowls.

2. Melt about 100g of unsalted butter in a pan and transfer to a jug.

3. Bring a pan of water to a gentle boil and put the bowl of egg yolks over it, adding a tablespoon of tarragon-infused vinegar and a bit of mustard. Whisk all of that in the pan over the gentle heat.

4. From your jug, add small splashes of butter to the bowl with the yolks, still whisking, until you’ve added all the butter. You should have a smooth sauce?

Some top tips: add a bit of white wine vinegar if the mixture has become too tight. Also, when adding the butter if the mixture starts to split add an ice cube and whisk – this might help! And use the egg whites to make meringues – the kids will love them.

Next time… Bearnaise sauce!