The saltiness of jamon is a great match with delicate-tasting whiting. When I arrived in Australia, you couldn't buy jamon. So after seeking advice from fellow local Spaniards, my father took it upon himself to make his own. We would wait for the first frost then dad would arrive home with 12 legs of pork in an esky in the car boot. We pressed them, then salted them lovingly, then hung them from the ceiling of our carport.
6 King George whiting, about 300g each (ask the fish monger to fillet them and keep the bones)
1 tomato, quartered
2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
2 bay leaves
1 leek, white part only, chopped
100ml white wine
3 nicola potatoes, or other waxy potatoes, peeled and sliced 1cm thick
12 slices jamon
Extra virgin olive oil to drizzle
1 tbsp roughly chopped parsley
For the alioli
2 garlic cloves, peeled
2 egg yolks
2 pinches sea salt
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
150ml extra virgin olive oil
150ml vegetable oil
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp hot water
* There are different types of jamon. The one I have used in this recipe is serrano, which is great for cooking and very affordable.
To make the alioli: chop the garlic cloves finely then place in a food processor. Add the egg yolks, salt and mustard then turn on the processor and pour oils in slowly until the mixture thickens.
While the processor is still running, add the lemon juice and hot water, mix to combine then pour into a bowl.
For stock: Place the fish bones, tomato, garlic, bay leaves, leek and wine in a large saucepan. Add just enough water to cover, then cook over medium heat until just below the boil. Reduce the heat to low then simmer very gently for 25 minutes, skimming the surface regularly. Strain, discard the solids, pour the stock into a large saucepan and bring back to simmer.
Add sliced potato and cook for 20 minutes or until tender. Keep warm for later.
Preheat oven to 180C. Skin side down, season the fish fillets then place a slice of jamon on top of each fillet. Start from the tail end and roll up then secure with a toothpick.
Place the fish on a baking tray, drizzle with a little olive oil and bake for 10 minutes or until the fish is just cooked through.
Meanwhile, preheat the grill to high. Remove the fish from the oven, top with one tablespoon of alioli and grill for one minute or until golden.
To serve: divide the fish and potatoes between six plates and spoon a small amount of stock over the potatoes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.