fish poached in red wine

i’ve had a really hectic couple of weeks and feel as though i am sitting in the middle of a giant cooking rut. so, to get things back on track i decided that we need a week of cooking new stuff. abel & cole sent me some black salsify earlier in the week and, having got stuck into my cook books, i decided that sunday lunch should be gordon ramsay’s fish in red wine with beurre rouge.

his recipe calls for brill (aka poor-man’s turbot) but i ended up using line-caught cod loin which was really delicious and coped well with the strong flavours. the fish is served on bed of buttery mashed potatoes with glazed salsify and baby shallots round the edge.

it is ridiculously rich – for each portion there is 45g butter and over a tablespoon of double cream – which means i’m unlikely to make this again any time soon. however, it is really delicious, especially that beurre rouge sauce (which is where most of the butter is!).

and in case you’re wondering, the fish was tinged red for about 1mm and was then beautifully snowy white inside. the wine flavour was subtle with the fish and mostly confined to the beurre rouge.

gordon ramsay’s brill in red wine with beurre rouge (serves 4)

500g potatoes

5 tablespoons double cream

150g (unsalted) butter, plus a good knob

150g salsify

a good squeeze of lemon juice

3 tablespoons olive oil (i used local extra virgin rapeseed oil)

12 grelot onions or baby shallots, peeled (i used normal shallots and halved them)

1 large shallot, finely chopped

500ml red wine

500ml fish stock (i used vegetable stock)

4 fillets of brill, about 150g each (i used cod)

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

sea salt & freshly ground black pepper

cook the potatoes, in their skins, in boiling salted water for 10-15 minutes until tender, then drain (i peeled my potatoes so it’d be quicker and easier to make the mash), then mash back into the pan. heat for a minute or two then beat in 3 tablespoons cream and 25g of the butter until thick and creamy. season and set aside.

peel the salsify then rinse well and cut diagonally until into thin batons (salsify turns brown quickly so put it in acidulated water if you’re not using it straightaway). blanch in boiling water with the lemon juice for 2 minutes then drain and cool.

heat 2 tablespoons of the oil and, when hot, sauté the onions for about 5 minutes, turning frequently. pat the salsify dry and add to the pan with the knob of butter. cook for a few minutes more until nicely coloured then set aside and keep warm (i just kept mine cooking over a low heat until i was ready to serve).

heat the remaining oil in a medium saucepan and sauté the diced shallot for 5 minutes. pour in the wine and stock and bring to a gentle simmer.

trim the fish fillets to neaten, and season them. slip into the hot liquid and poach the fish for 3-4 minutes until just tender. do not overcook. remove the fish with a fish slice and keep warm (i put them on a plate in a warm oven).

strain the fish liquor through a fine sieve the return to the pan. bring to the boil and reduce by two thirds then stir in the remaining  cream. bring back to a gentle boil then, on a low heat, whisk in the remaining butter, cut into small cubes, adding them one or two at a time. the sauce will thicken and become glossy.

reheat the potato puree and divide between 4 warmed plates, sit a brill fillet on top of each mound of potatoes and arrange the glazed vegetables around. nappe with the beurre rouge, sprinkle with parsley and serve.

note: there are lots of different bits to juggle with this dish, i prepped everything in advance, heated an oven to 100c to keep plates etc warm, and then got everything going in the order suggested but also in parallel. i had intended to add some spinach but that was one pan too many!