Braised turbot with smoked roe, Jersey Royals and estuary greens

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This turbot recipe from chef Chris Harrod sees the noble fish paired with Jersey Royal potatoes, a homemade smoked taramasalata and a variety of foraged herbs. If you're struggling to get your hands on some of the more unusual ingredients, Chris says you can replace the estuary greens with a mixture of spinach and watercress, the ground elder with young celery leaves and the arrowgrass with coriander.

First published in 2019





Smoked roe

Jersey Royals

Estuary herbs

  • 12 young sea spinach, leaves only
  • 12 sea plantain
  • 12 sea aster, small leaves only
  • 8 buckthorn plantain
  • 12 ground elder shoots, young
  • 300ml of water
  • 9g of salt


To finish

  • 100g of sea arrowgrass, finely chopped


  • Blender
  • Hand blender


Prepare the smoked roe by mixing the salt, sugar and lemon zest together. Rub this mixture all over the roes and leave for 1 hour
While the roe is curing, prepare the braisage used to cook the fish. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and add the shallots. Sweat for 5 minutes until translucent but not coloured. Use the lemon juice to wash the mushrooms, then add them to the pan and cook until all their liquid has evaporated. Add the fish bones and cook for 5 minutes, then add the white wine and top up with water so all the ingredients are just submerged. Simmer for 20 minutes, then strain and reduce by half. Set aside
Rinse the roes under running water and drain on kitchen paper. Place the woodchips in a flameproof tray and set them alight. Cover with a lid and allow the smoke to dissipate, then place a wire rack over the top. Place the roes on top of this, then cover the tray. Gently smoke the roe by placing the tray over a low heat and heating for 20–30 minutes
  • 70g of wood chips, from birch wood
Place the smoked roe in a blender with the lemon juice and blitz on a high speed. Gradually pour in the oil to emulsify until it resembles mayonnaise. Taste and season with more salt and lemon juice if required – if the mix becomes too thick, it can be loosened with a little water. Set aside until ready to plate
For the Jersey Royals, place all the ingredients in a pan (except the lemon juice). Bring to a simmer and then turn down the heat so the potatoes are cooking at just below simmering point for 20–30 minutes, until just tender. Cooking the potatoes slowly allows for a better transfer of flavour. Strain the potatoes and, when cool enough to handle, peel them. Crush with a fork, season and moisten with rapeseed oil and lemon juice. Set aside until ready to plate
To cook the fish, preheat the oven to 150°C/gas mark 2. Dissolve the salt in the water and brine the turbot for 5 minutes, then drain on kitchen paper. Pour the braisage into a casserole dish big enough to hold the fish and bring to the boil. Remove from the heat and submerge the fish, then cover and place in the oven for 5–6 minutes until just cooked but firm to the touch. Keep warm
Strain the turbot cooking juices into a small saucepan and bring to the boil. Whisk in the butter and lift with lemon juice (if needed) and keep hot
To cook the estuary herbs, bring the water and salt to a boil in a pan and add the ground elder and sea plantain. Cook for 1–2 minutes until tender, then add the rest of the herbs and cook for a further minute then drain
  • 300ml of water
  • 12 young sea spinach, leaves only
  • 9g of salt
  • 12 sea plantain
  • 12 sea aster, small leaves only
  • 8 buckthorn plantain
  • 12 ground elder shoots, young
To serve, reheat the crushed potatoes in a pan and, once hot, stir in the chopped arrowgrass. Spread the smoked roe emulsion in the middle of each bowl, spooning the potatoes on top. Place the fish on the potatoes and scatter over the estuary herbs. Froth the cooking juices with a hand blender and spoon over the fish
  • 100g of sea arrowgrass, finely chopped

A protégé of Raymond Blanc, Chris Harrod has built his own niche in the heart of glorious Monmouthshire, creating beautiful, organic dishes that make the most of the countryside around him.

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