Stuffed squid in black ink sauce

Stuffed squid in black ink sauce

Encornets farcis à l’encre de seiche

Luke Nguyen's France
Alan Benson

Biarritz cuisine includes many seafood dishes, which is entirely natural given its location on the French coast. This recipe for stuffed squid also features the famous Bayonne ham, a signature delicacy from the region.


Quantity Ingredient
60ml olive oil
3 french shallots, diced
2 garlic cloves, diced
1/2 onion, diced
60g bayonne cured ham, diced
8 Seafood bisque, reserved prawns only, peeled and deveined, finely chopped
45ml port
ground espelette pepper or hot paprika, (see glossary), plus extra to garnish
8-10 baby squid, cleaned
500ml Seafood bisque
2 tablespoons squid ink paste, (from good fishmongers; see glossary)
1 teaspoon espelette oil, (from a fine food providore)
chervil sprigs, to garnish

For the pig’s trotters

Quantity Ingredient
2 pig’s trotters
2 onions, chopped
2 leeks, chopped, white part only
2 carrots, chopped
2 thyme sprigs
2 bay leaves
3 cloves


  1. Place all the ingredients for the pig’s trotters in a saucepan over medium heat. Pour in enough water to cover, then leave to bubble away for 1½ hours. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Remove the pig’s trotters and reserve; discard the cooking liquid.
  2. Heat a saucepan over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, then sauté the shallot, garlic and onion for 4 minutes, or until fragrant. Add the reserved pig’s trotters, along with the ham, prawn meat, port and a pinch of sea salt and espelette pepper. Cook for 5 minutes, then remove from the heat and allow to cool.
  3. When cooled, use a fork to break down and combine all the stuffing ingredients. Spoon the stuffing into each squid. Close the cavities with toothpicks and set aside.
  4. Heat a clean frying pan over medium heat. Add the remaining olive oil and pan-fry the squid for 2 minutes, or until slightly browned on each side. Remove from the pan.
  5. Add the seafood bisque and squid ink to the same pan and whisk until combined. Bring to the boil, then cook for 5 minutes, or until reduced and thickened slightly. Return the stuffed squid to the pan, bring to a simmer and cook for a further 2 minutes on each side, basting regularly with the sauce.
  6. To serve, transfer the squid to serving plates and spoon the ink sauce over. Dress the plates with drops of espelette oil, and garnish with chervil and an extra sprinkling of espelette powder.
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