Pink Peppercorn’s recipe for Fishguard Cawl

Fishguard Cawl © Pink Peppercorn

Operating from a bright-pink vintage caravan, the Pink Peppercorn food truck fires out innovative modern riffs on traditional Welsh recipes. Owners Alex and Rachel take pride in sourcing the best local, organic and seasonal ingredients, taking their truck to farmers markets, county shows and food festivals across South Wales. Here they give their unique spin on the recipe for Fishguard Cawl, named after the Pembrokeshire town that is so cawl crazy it has an annual Cawl Crawl Challenge!

Alex and Rachel say: “A modern take on this traditional cawl recipe, this is the earliest and only one we could find combining fresh seafood, meat and cream. This contemporary recipe remains true to our heart. We use artisan Welsh chorizo, Tenby mussels and local organic cream, and incorporate creole flavours from the country’s old spice route connections.”

Ingredients

4 large cloves of garlic, crushed with salt

1 brown onion, 2 sticks of celery, 1 carrot, finely diced

Rapeseed oil/ knob of butter

300ml double cream

400ml fish stock

3-4 tsp toasted cajun spice blend (fine sea salt, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper, black pepper, thyme, oregano, white pepper)

4-6 anchovy fillets

Few splashes of white wine

Squeeze of lemon juice

For the stock

Cawl with hake and samphire © Pink Peppercorn

Filling

100g chorizo, chopped into small pieces

100g mussels, fresh and cleaned

1 whole corn on the cob

2 medium fillets of sustainable hake, seasoned and at room temperature just before cooking

Garnish

Handful of fresh samphire

Pickled rock samphire (if available)

Fresh heirloom tomatoes, chopped

Freshly ground pink peppercorns

Salsa verde (dill, mint, coriander, basil, tarragon, parsley, lemon juice, capers, gherkins, olive oil, red wine vinegar, flaked sea salt)

Method

Sweat down your finely chopped onion, celery and carrot in a large saucepan with a good splash of rapeseed oil and a knob of butter over a medium heat for about 20 minutes, stirring every so often to stop it catching.

Meanwhile, take your chorizo and chop into small pieces, add into a hot non-stick pan with a dash of rapeseed oil. Fry off for 2-3 minutes on a high heat to release some oils and flavour. Separate the flesh and oil in a sieve over a bowl, setting both aside for later use.

Prepare/clean your corn on the cob and add to salted boiling water for 5 minutes, drain, lightly butter and set aside to cool slightly. Carefully char the corn with a blowtorch or over gas hob then strip from husk and set aside for later.

In your main pan, stir in the garlic, cajun spice blend and anchovy fillets and fry off for a further 5-10 minutes until golden and sticking slightly to the bottom of the pan.

De-glaze with a good splash of white wine and gently simmer down for 3-4 mins.

Now cook your mussels in a pan over a medium heat with a splash of wine wine, lid on until mussels open and are cooked, discarding any unopened. Toss and strain to separate juice, put cooked mussels to one side.

Gently pour the fish stock and strained mussel liquid into your saucepan and bring up to a simmer at which point get your stick blender out.

Blend then very slowly pour in your double cream until everything is combined. Continuing to blend, add in your chorizo oil to turn the stock a beautiful rouge colour. Remove blender.

Keep at a medium heat and be careful not to bring to a boil, season with a squeeze of lemon and sea salt to taste. Add in your chorizo, cooked mussels and corn, stirring in gently.

Now pan fry your fillets of hake skin side down on a high heat in a splash of sunflower oil for about 2 minutes, until the skin is crispy. Flip the fillets over, turn down the heat slightly, add in a knob of butter and baste for another 2 minutes. Leave to rest for a minute or two while you grab your bowls!

Serving suggestion

Fill a couple of deep bowls with the creamy cawl mix, throw in some fresh chopped tomatoes and raw samphire. Add the fillets of fish and garnish with salsa verde, pickled rock samphire and crushed pink peppercorns. Serve with your favourite bread and enjoy.

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