Monkfish liver, bacon and pea-shoot salad with a poached hen's egg

Serves 4
  • @HixRestaurants

This salad was created a few weeks back when Darren Brown gave me some monkfish livers in London's Borough Market that came from West Bay. I quickly packed them into ice and took them right back where they came from (in fact a bit further): down to Lyme Regis. The local suppliers don't seem to be interested in monkfish liver down there for some reason – and it's difficult enough to get, even in London.

This recipe is a take on the French salad frisée aux lardons but using pea shoots and pieces of monkfish liver instead. Monkfish liver is the equivalent of the foie gras of the sea and can be used in a similar way; I've even made the equivalent of Tournedos Rossini before with a chunk of monkfish fillet topped with a slice of liver.

300g monkfish liver, washed
Milk for poaching
A couple of good knobs of butter
120-150g piece of streaky bacon, cut into rough cm chunks
4 free-range hens' eggs
A couple of handfuls of pea shoots, washed
60-70g shelled weight of peas, cooked
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing

1tbsp cider vinegar
2tsp Dijon or Tewksbury mustard
2tbsp olive or rapeseed oil
2tbsp corn or vegetable oil

Place the monkfish liver in a pan and cover with milk, season well, bring to the boil and simmer for about 4-5 minutes then leave to cool in the milk. Once cool, rinse off under the cold tap and cut into 2cm chunks. Cook the bacon pieces in a dry pan on a medium heat for 3-4 minutes until crisp, turning them every so often, then remove with a slotted spoon on to some kitchen paper. Melt the butter in the same pan, season and cook the monkfish livers on a high heat for a few minutes until nicely coloured. Meanwhile, poach the eggs. Whisk the ingredients together for the dressing and season.

Toss the pea shoots in some of the dressing and arrange on plates or bowls and scatter over the bacon, monkfish liver and peas. Season the salad, place the poached egg in the centre and spoon over a little more dressing.