Simon Hulstone's fillet of brill recipe pairs the underrated fish with a richly flavoured lobster sauce. Asparagus and samphire underscore the seafood with earthy notes and the assembled dish will impress any dinner party guest.
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Place the lobsters in the freezer. This should render them insensate
Once each lobster is insensate, place it on its back with its claws tied and hold it firmly by the top of its head. Place the tip of a very sharp chef's knife on the head just beneath its mouth, lining the blade up with the lobster’s midline with the blade side pointed toward its tail
Pierce the lobster’s head downward, then place the knife tip just to the body side of the junction of its tail and thorax and cut through the midline. Repeat for the second lobster
Put the lobsters in a large pan of cold, salted water and slowly bring it to the boil. When the water has reached boiling point, lower the heat and simmer for around 20-30 minutes
Remove the white meat from the lobster, taking care to keep the carcass (which you will need in the next step). You should have approximately 500g of white lobster meat
Chop the lobster carcasses into small pieces and put them in a hot saucepan with a glug of olive oil. Cook for 2-3 minutes without letting them colour
Add the shallots and the garlic to the pan and sweat down, stirring constantly. Peel and deseed the tomatoes
2 shallots, chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
Add the tomatoes to the pan and simmer for 10 minutes on a medium heat. Pour in the brandy and flame the alcohol
150ml of brandy
Once the sauce has settled again, pour in the white wine and lower the heat to a simmer. Pour in the fish stock/water and simmer for 30 minutes
150ml of white wine
285ml of fish stock
Pass the sauce through a fine sieve and return to a clean plan. Reduce by two thirds before adding the double cream and bringing back to the boil. Take off the heat and set aside
150ml of double cream
Use a mandoline to shave the asparagus lengthways before wilting with the samphire in a hot pan for about 30 seconds
60g of asparagus spears
Season the brill and place it, skin-side down, in a hot pan with a little olive oil. Cook until golden brown. Turn over and then take the pan off the heat. Allow the fillets to cook through off the stove
4 brill fillets, 130g each
Put the samphire in the centre of 4 bowl plates. Add the shaving of asparagus and place the brill on top
100g of samphire
Reheat the sauce and whisk in the butter. Season to taste and add the chopped lobster meat, then pour on and around the brill. Finish with a spoonful of caviar and chervil
100g of unsalted butter
1 tsp caviar
1 tsp chervil
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