Food & Drink

Recipes - Niall McKenna’s monkfish and butterbean stew, and slow roast porchetta

Niall McKenna is adding an Italian twist to the best of our local ingredients

Niall McKenna's slow roasted porchetta
Niall McKenna's slow roasted porchetta

I love cooking local ingredients with a European twist and these two dinners exemplify that - classic Italian cooking made using locally sourced ingredients.

This pork dish, slow roast porchetta, is one which we cook at the weekends in Waterman. It often takes a couple of attempts to perfect but, once you get it right, it will become a staple in your recipe book.

The monkfish, however, is a quick and simple dish - great for a grown-up dinner at home and even better for a dinner with friends.

Why not try them at home and for more help, book in to the cookery school.

Check out our wide range of cookery classes at or follow us on Instagram

Monkfish and butterbean stew

Niall McKenna's monkfish and butterbean stew
Niall McKenna's monkfish and butterbean stew


(Serves 4)

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, finely diced
  • 3 peppers, any colour, sliced lengthways
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 chilli, deseeded and finely diced
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 1 tin tomatoes
  • 150g cherry tomatoes, halved
  • 1 tbsp caster sugar
  • 25g capers
  • 2 tins butter beans or 600g if fresh (cooked)
  • 4 fillets of monkfish, cubed
  • 1 sprig parsley, destalked


  • Start by making the sauce, as the monkfish will not take long to cook. You can use any white meaty fish for this dish.
  • In a large pan, add olive oil and cook off the onions, adding in the peppers, garlic, chilli and smoked paprika until soft. Next, add in tomato purée, tinned tomatoes, fresh tomatoes, sugar and capers. Mix well and add in the pre-cooked beans. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • In a separate pan, cook off the monkfish with a tablespoon of olive oil and turn to cook on all sides.
  • To serve, place on top of the stew. Garnish with a little of the torn parsley.

Slow Roast Porchetta

Niall McKenna's slow roasted porchetta
Niall McKenna's slow roasted porchetta


(Serves 6)

  • 2kg pork shoulder, boned and butterflied
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 tbsp fennel seeds
  • 3 tbsp cloves, ground
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 sprig rosemary, chopped
  • olive oil


  • Ideally, marinate this dish overnight in the fridge. If not, all is not lost, it is just best to start early in the morning.
  • Start by frying off the onion and garlic with a little olive oil on a medium heat until softened. Season with salt and pepper. Next, add the fennel seeds, ground cloves, bay leaves and rosemary, keeping on the heat for one minute. There should be an explosion of aromas. Leave aside to cool.
  • To prepare the pork, ensure the fat side is facing the counter and spread the cooled ingredients over the meat using your hands to massage it in. Roll the pork up tightly and tie with string. If there is any remaining spice mix, rub onto the exterior of the pork. Cover in cling film and, if possible, place in fridge for 24 hours.
  • When ready to cook, remove from the cling film. Preheat your oven to 180C and let the pork come to room temperature. Next, place in the oven uncovered and after 90 minutes, move to the lower shelf. Remove after 3 hours in total and allow to rest for 20 minutes. Slice and serve with some beans and a potato salad.