Bourride of mussels and monkfish with saffron and fennel

Bourride of mussels and monkfish with saffron and fennel

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Preparation time
less than 30 mins


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Cooking time
30 mins to 1 hour


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Serves 6


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By Ollie Dabbous
From Saturday Kitchen[row]


For the mussels

  • 250ml/9fl oz white wine
  • 1kg/2lb 4oz mussels, debearded and washed, broken mussels discarded

For the garlic mayonnaise

  • 3 free-range egg yolks
  • 2 large garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • ½ lemon, juice only
  • 2 tbsp Chardonnay vinegar
  • large pinch fine sea salt
  • small pinch caster sugar
  • 250ml/9fl oz vegetable oil
  • 150ml/5fl oz extra virgin olive oil

For the bourride

  • 8 new potatoes
  • 200g/7oz green beans
  • 50ml/2fl oz olive oil
  • ½ white onion, core removed and cut into segments
  • ½ fennel bulb, thinly sliced
  • 2 celery sticks, peeled and sliced on an angle into 2cm/¾in pieces
  • 1 leek, halved, washed and sliced on an angle into 2cm/¾in pieces
  • pinch saffron
  • 4 strips orange peel
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 glass vermouth
  • 100ml/3½fl oz double cream
  • 8 confit or jarred artichoke hearts, halved
  • 500g/1lb 2oz monkfish goujons, finger length, lightly seasoned
  • 4 handfuls baby spinach, washed
  • 1 tbsp roughly chopped thyme
  • handful fennel fronds
  • pinch fennel pollen

To serve

  • 1 baguette, warmed


  1. For the mussels, bring 250ml/9fl oz of water and the wine to a boil in a large pan, then add the mussels and cover with a lid. Cook over a high heat for 3 minutes until they open up and are just cooked.

  2. Drain the mussels in a colander, making sure that you retain all the mussel stock as you’ll need this later. Pick the mussel meat from the shells, reserving 12 in the shells for presentation.

  3. Strain the mussel stock through a double layer of unused dish cloths to strain out any grit, then set aside. Keep the picked mussels in a small amount of the stock to keep them moist.

  4. To make the garlic mayonnaise, place all the ingredients except for the oils in a blender. Add a tablespoon of water and blend until smooth and homogenized. Combine the oils and slowly drizzle into the blender whilst blending to create a thick, smooth mayonnaise. Check the seasoning and keep chilled until needed.

  5. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Boil the new potatoes until cooked through, then remove and blanch the green beans for 3 minutes. Drain the beans and refresh in cold water. Set both aside for later.

  6. To make the bourride, heat a large pan over a medium heat. Add the olive oil, then add the onion, fennel, celery and leek with the saffron, orange peel and star anise. Cover with a lid and cook gently for about 5 minutes, until softened but not completely cooked.

  7. Add the vermouth and boil for 10 seconds, then add 500ml/18fl oz of the mussel stock and the cream, and return to a gentle simmer. Cook for 5 minutes, then check the vegetables are tender. Remove the orange peel and star anise.

  8. Pour some of the hot broth from the pan into a jug, then whisk this into 300g/10½oz of the garlic mayonnaise. Now return the loosened garlic mayonnaise to the pan with the remaining liquor and vegetables, and cook over a low heat to thicken the sauce. Be careful with the heat, if the sauce gets too hot the mayonnaise will split.

  9. Cut the cooked new potatoes in half and add to the bourride along with the artichokes and the monkfish. Cook very gently for 3 minutes until the monkfish is just cooked through.

  10. Next, carefully mix in the spinach to wilt, then add the cooked green beans, chopped thyme and the shelled and unshelled mussels. Warm through, and scatter over the fennel fronds and fennel pollen. Serve immediately with warm, crusty baguette.