John Jeffrey is a former Scotland and British Lions international rugby player. He won 40 caps for Scotland between 1984 and 1991 and scored 11 tries. Known as “The Great White Shark” and “JJ”, he was a member of Scotland’s 1990 Grand Slam Team.
JJ’s Grand Slam Scallops
Ingredients (serves 2)
2 slices of black pudding
8 small scallops
2 – 4 rashers of thick streaky bacon cut into pieces
150g peas (fresh or frozen)
A knob of butter
- Cook the peas in boiling water.
- Fry the black pudding in a little oil for 2 and ½ minutes on each side and then remove from the pan.
- Fry the bacon bits in the same pan for about 5-8 minutes and remove them from the pan, leaving the fat.
- Drain the peas and add a knob of butter and a few leaves of mint and then puree with a handheld blender.
- Fry the scallops in the bacon fat in same pan for no more than 2 minutes on each side.
- Arrange the pea puree in four dollops on each plate, quarter the 2 slices of black pudding and put a piece on each dollop of peas, add a scallop to each piece of black pudding and scatter the bacon bits over the top.
Rose Murray Brown’s wine recommendations
I would normally suggest a high acid white like Chablis to match with scallops – but John’s fried scallop dish includes richer elements of black pudding, bacon and pea puree so it requires a wine with both lively acidity and rich texture. In northern Portugal, Spain’s Albarino grape is known as Alvarinho, and in the lush valleys of northern Vinho Verde it tends to have more weight and texture than on the northwest Spanish coast in Rias Baixas where the wines are zippier and lighter. The top producer in Portugal’s northern Vinho Verde is Quinta do Soalheiro who make the thrillingly rich dense citric minerally Alvarinho 2020 Soalheiro (£18.95 Lockett Bros, North Berwick; Wine Raks, Aberdeen; Luvians, Cupar; Oxford Wine). This wine would also match well with other rich textured seafood like calamari or lobster.
Another great match would be the supple round textured Harslevelu grape which makes beautifully dense wines balanced with vibrant acid and minerally grip on volcanic soils in the famous Tokaj region in north east Hungary. Harslevelu Dry Selection 2015 Pajzos (£18.65 L’Art du Vin, Dunfermline; Malux Hungarian Wines & Spirits) is a rich oak-matured example with creamy buttery elegance.
You could also serve a light red with this rich scallop dish – Loire’s Sancerre Rouge made from Pinot Noir, Beaujolais Cru Fleurie made from Gamay or Trousseau from the Jura in eastern France would all work well. I recently discovered a beautifully elegant silky ripe example of Pinot Noir from long-established Vacheron family : Sancerre Rouge 2019 Vacheron (£25-£32 Woodwinters (Edinburgh, Bridge of Allan & Inverness); The Wine Society; North & South Wines; Pol Roger).