Escalope of wild sea bass with sautéed smoked bacon, red chicory, runner beans and red wine sauce

Not traditionally associated with fish, Matthew Tomkinson shows how a beautifully rich red wine sauce can perfectly complement pan-fried sea bass fillets in this carefully balanced recipe. The whole palate is addressed with sweet shallots, creamy, earthy celeriac purée, smoky, salty bacon, and tart, bitter chicory. If making at home, you can ask your local fishmonger for the fish trimmings required for the sauce.

First published in 2015
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Ingredients

Metric

Imperial

Sea bass

Sweet shallots and runner beans

  • 4 runner beans, trimmed and sliced lengthways
  • 2 banana shallots, thinly sliced into rings, keeping the trimmings
  • salt
  • 1 tbsp of sugar

Celeriac purée

Red wine sauce

To plate

Equipment

  • Food processor or blender
  • Muslin cloth

Method

1
To prepare the celeriac purée, in a saucepan, cover the celeriac with water and season with salt. Bring to the boil and cook until tender
2
Drain thoroughly and place in food processor. Whilst blending add enough of the cream to form a smooth, thin purée and keep warm
  • 85ml of double cream
3
To make the sweet shallots and runner beans, blanch the beans in boiling water and then refresh in iced water, before draining and setting to one side
  • 4 runner beans, large
4
Place the shallot rings in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Add enough sugar to sweeten the water and a pinch of salt
5
Bring to a simmer and cook until just tender. Remove from the heat and when cool, drain
6
For the red wine sauce, sweat the shallot trimmings and leek with the garlic, rosemary and star anise until dry. Add the fish trimmings and cook for 10 minutes
7
Add the red wine and boil dry. Add the chicken stock and cook for 1 hour until thickened and well flavoured. Pass through muslin cloth and set aside
  • 185ml of red wine
  • 185ml of dark chicken stock
8
In a hot pan, sauté the bacon in a little butter until crisp and golden. Add in the chicory, drained sweet shallots and runner beans. Cook until the chicory just starts to wilt and everything else is hot
9
Pan fry the fish in a little olive oil until just cooked, season and squeeze over the lemon juice. On a warm serving plate place a spoon of the purée, a pile of the runner bean mixture and top with the fish
10
Pour some of the sauce around and serve a little extra at the table
First published in 2015
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Matthew Tomkinson’s elegant and highly accomplished food earned him a Roux Scholarship in 2005, as well as Michelin stars at The Goose and The Montagu Arms. He now cooks classically influenced comforting dishes at Betony at The Kings Head in Wiltshire.

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