Scallops with confit potatoes and a ginger and thyme velouté

  • for 4 people
  • Ready in about 1 hour
  • Easy
This French recipe – explained with clear, detailed instructions from Angela Hartnett – is a real winner.

Nutritional info per serving

Per serving: 532kcals, 35.9g fat (21.6g saturated), 31.8g protein, 16.1g carbs, 2.7g sugar, 1.1g salt

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350g jar goose fat (from larger supermarkets)
Few fresh thyme sprigs
1 fresh bay leaf
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled and roughly cut up
200g good waxy new potatoes
75g girolle/chanterelle mushrooms (or use baby chestnut), cleaned
25g butter
12 fresh prepared scallops (orange coral removed)
1/2 tsp Madras curry powder

(sh) For the ginger and thyme velouté
15g unsalted butter
2 shallots, finely chopped
1 fresh bay leaf
50g fresh root ginger, chopped
1 garlic clove, unpeeled and roughly cut up
150ml dry white wine
Few fresh thyme sprigs
150ml fresh chicken stock, hot
142ml carton double cream


Make the potato confit
1. Melt the goose fat in a small saucepan over a medium heat. Add the herbs, garlic and potatoes, season, and bring to a gentle simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook for 15-18 minutes, until just tender. Cool, then lift the potatoes from the fat and peel with a small, sharp knife. Set aside.
Angela’s tip: buy ratte potatoes if you can find them. Cook the potatoes very slowly. You can re-use the fat – cool until solid, then chill.

Make the velouté
2. Meanwhile, melt the butter in a clean saucepan. Add the shallot and a little salt and cook quickly over a high heat for a few minutes to just soften. Add the bay leaf, ginger, garlic, wine and thyme, and reduce by two-thirds. Add the stock and reduce by half. Add the cream and reduce by half. Strain into a clean pan and keep hot over a very low heat.
Angela’s tips: a velouté is a creamy light-coloured sauce, so don’t colour the shallot when frying. Reduce the wine well to remove the alcohol and concentrate the lovely grape flavour.

Sauté the mushrooms
3. Using a knife, scrape off the outer layer of each mushroom stalk. Put the butter in a small frying pan over a high heat. Add the mushrooms and sauté for a few minutes. Take the pan off the heat and remove the mushrooms with a slotted spoon.

Pan-fry the scallops
Cut each scallop in half through the middle, then sprinkle with the curry powder. Reheat the butter in the mushroom pan over a high heat.
4. Add the scallops – in batches – and cook for 30 seconds. Flip with a palette knife and cook for a further 30 seconds. Set aside on kitchen paper somewhere warm. Repeat with the remaining scallops. Whizz up the velouté using a stick blender, until slightly frothy. Cut the potatoes into medium-thick slices. Put 6 slices in a circle, spaced apart, on each deep serving plate. Rest 1 slice of scallop against each potato slice, then dot with mushrooms. Spoon over the velouté to serve.
Angela’s tips: scallops must be cooked briefly. Lay them out in a circle in the pan, so you know which ones will be ready first.

  • Wine note: white Burgundy is a truly outstanding partner for this dish, with a rich fresh fruit flavour and rounded, creamy, nutty notes.

From November 2005

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