By Jack Stein of Billy & Jack

We cook a version of this dish a lot as it includes a lot of our favourite autumnal and winter ingredients. Butternut squash is incredibly versatile and the seeds are really tasty so we’ve used them here for a nice bit of crunch. We’ve pickled mushroom stalks which are a waste ingredient and we’ve also used cod cheeks which are a lovely part to eat but all too often overlooked and wasted. Well worth seeking them out! This is the sort of food we love to cook at our supper clubs, seasonal, contemporary and delicious!

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 butternut squash
  • 50ml double cream
  • 50ml vegetable stock
  • 1tsp smoked paprika
  • 100g mushroom stalks, well cleaned or 100g seasonal mushrooms
  • 100ml white wine vinegar
  • 30g demerara sugar
  • 220g pack smoked streaky bacon
  • 500g cod cheeks, cleaned

Method

  1. Peel and cut the squash and remove the seeds (hold onto them!).
  2. Place the squash on a baking tray, drizzle with oil, season and place in a preheated oven at 180°C for 45 minutes until soft and browning at the edges.
  3. While the squash is cooking clean the seeds. Toast in a hot pan with a little oil until browning and beginning to pop, dust with paprika and season.
  4. To make the pickled mushroom stalks heat the white wine vinegar and sugar until it dissolves. Sauté the mushroom stalks in a hot pan for one minute. Transfer to a bowl and pour on the pickling liquor.
  5. Once the squash flesh has cooled transfer to a blender, add 50ml of double cream and 50ml of vegetable stock and blend on full power until smooth.
  6. Cut the bacon into lardons and fry until crispy and the fat has rendered. Set aside.
  7. In the same pan cook the cod cheeks, season one side with sea salt and a little oil, place salt side down into the hot pan and leave it to crisp up, around 2-3 minutes. Once golden turn over and cook the other side for 2 minutes.
  8. To serve, spoon a little of the squash puree onto the plate and top with the cod cheeks and bacon. Dress with a few mushroom stalks and top with the squash seeds.