Judge James Tanner shares his Roast Hake recipe with us

Friday, July 26, 2019

Toque d'Or judge Chef James Tanner leaning on restaurant bar

Over the next few weeks, we will be sharing recipes that have been created by Nestlé Professional Toque d’Or judges!

First up is Chef James Tanner, who has developed a delicious dish featuring his favourite sustainable ingredient: hake. Impress your dinner guests by following this step-by-step guide to creating his dish.

Roast hake and cockles in beef sauce with chive butter cream


Toque d'Or judge James Tanner's Roast Hake dish


Serves 2 


300g scaled pin boned Hake fillet

1 banana shallot

150ml white wine

100ml whipping cream

50g unsalted cold butter

2 tbsp chopped chives

150g cockles

1 clove garlic

2 sprig thyme

150ml red wine

150ml beef stock

2 handfuls curly kale, stalks removed

Squeeze of lemon juice 



  1. Salt the Hake, sprinkle liberally with fine salt and cure for 20 minutes in the fridge. Wash off under cold water, pat dry and cut into two neat portions. 
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas 6.
  3. Add the beef stock and red wine into a pan and bring to a simmer until thickened and reduced to around 150ml. Set aside the reduced sauce.
  4. Slice the shallot and crush the garlic and thyme. Heat a medium saucepan with a lid to high temperature and add the cockles, garlic shallot and thyme. 
  5. Pour over white wine, add a pinch of sea salt and cover with the lid - cook for only 1 minute or until the cockles just open. Drain in a colander set over a bowl, reserving the liquid. 
  6. Take the reserved liquid and pass through a fine strainer into a clean saucepan and set over a medium heat to reduce by 1 third. Once reduced, add the cream and reduce once again. Season to taste.
  7. Pick three quarters of the cockles, keeping the remaining in the shell, and discard the thyme, garlic and shallots. 
  8. Heat a non-stick pan on medium heat, add a splash of oil and cook the fish skin side down. Do not be tempted to season the fillets as the curing process has done this already and more importantly firmed the fish.
  9. Take the Hake pan and put it into a hot oven set to 200°C. Cook for only 4 minutes, so the fish is just cooked - it should feel firm when pressed lightly. Remove the pan from the oven and rest skin side down for a minute.
  10. Whilst the fish is cooking, heat the reduced beef sauce and add the kale to a small pan with a splash of water. Put a lid on the kale pan and cook for around two minutes until just tender, then turn off heat. 
  11. Take your warm cockle cream and whisk in the cold butter season and add the chopped chives. Drop the cockles into the warmed, reduced beef sauce. 
  12. Take two serving plates and pour over the cockle chive cream. Drain the kale and add to the centre of the plates. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the fish and present on the kale, skin side up. Finally, dress the picked cockles and shell-on cockles around the fish, garnish with a little beef sauce and serve. 

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