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John Dory is a beautifully firm, white fleshed fish that is wonderfully prepared in William Drabble's recipe with mussels. Also known as St Peter's fish, tradition says that the characteristic black spot found on either side of the body is an impression of the saint's thumb. John Dory has an unusual bone structure, a bit like a flat fish even though it is round and is therefore rather fiddly to navigate so best ask your fishmonger to fillet the fish for this baked fish recipe

Method
1.
Cut the John Dory fillets straight down the centre so you have 8 pieces, then score the centre of each piece
2.
Chop the bones, remove the gills from the head and wash the bones and head under running water for 20 minutes. Drain and set aside
3.
Put the butter into a pan and melt gently. Sweat down the shallots, garlic and celery until soft but not coloured. Add the bones and sweat for a couple of minutes
4.
Add 200ml of the cider and enough water just to cover the bones. Bring to the boil and cook very slowly for 15 minutes
5.
Strain through a sieve lined with a muslin cloth into a pan. Reduce the stock over a medium high heat to 250ml. Add the double cream, re-boil and set to one side
6.
Cut the celeriac into 5mm dice and cook in boiling salted water. Refresh in iced water then drain and set to one side
7.
Heat a pan with a lid and add the cleaned mussels. Pour in the remaining cider and cover with the lid so that the mussels steam open very quickly
8.
When the shells have opened, tip them into a colander set in a bowl to retain the liquid
9.
Remove the mussels from the shells and put to one side. Pass the liquid through a sieve lined with six layers of muslin cloth and set aside
10.
To cook the fish, get a large non-stick pan and add the olive oil. Place the fish into the hot oil skin side down and pan fry gently until half cooked
11.
Turn the fish over and remove the pan from the stove, the fish will cook through in the residual heat
12.
Wilt the spinach in a little butter and season with salt
13.
Bring the sauce up to the boil and add some of the mussel stock to taste. Add the celeriac, apple and mussels, bring back to the boil then add the chives
14.
Divide the spinach between four bowls, arranging it in mounds in the centre of each bowl
15.
Pour the sauce around and arrange the apple, celeriac and mussels around the bowls
16.
Place two fillets of John Dory per portion on the spinach and serve immediately
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Corney & Barrow matching wine

Find out why Corney & Barrow match this John Dory recipe with a light and crisp white wine, a champagne or sparkling white wine, or a fresh and medium bodied white wine

Ingredients

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Fish fillets are served with mussels, apples and celeriac in William Drabble's John Dory recipe. John Dory is delicious, and this recipe is simple to prepare.