Nathan Outlaw’s Braised Turbot in Beer with Shallots & Peas

"This dish, for some reason, says rich man/poor man to me. The king of the sea braised in good old beer with bacon and peas. I’ve portioned the turbot and cooked it on the bone, because that’s how I like it, but if you’ve got one of those turbot kettles you could braise the whole thing. That would be cracking as well!" Nathan Outlaw

CREDIT: Nathan Outlaw’s Fish Kitchen (Quadrille, £20)
Photography by David Loftus

Serves 4

  • 1 turbot, about 1.5kg, fins trimmed, split down the centre bone and cut into steaks with the bone in Cornish sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Light rapeseed oil for cooking
  • 75g unsalted butter
  • 20 small shallots, peeled
  • 12 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 rosemary sprig
  • 100ml red wine vinegar
  • 750ml beer (Doom Bar or other good-quality bitter)
  • 500ml fish stock
  • 8 rashers of streaky smoked bacon
  • 200g peas (fresh or frozen)
  • 3 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

Top Tips

Halibut steaks make a great alternative to turbot.

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  1. To prepare the fish braising liquid, heat a large, wide pan and add a drizzle of oil and half of the butter. When the oil is hot and the butter has melted, add the whole shallots and garlic. Cook for 4 minutes, then add the rosemary and cook for a further 2 minutes, allowing the shallots and garlic to colour slightly.
  2. Add the wine vinegar and let it bubble until reduced to almost nothing, then pour in the beer and reduce by half. Now pour in the fish stock and bring to the boil. Skim off any impurities from the surface and simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, heat your grill to high. Lay the bacon rashers on the grill rack and grill until crispy, turning once. Leave until cool enough to handle, then chop the bacon.
  4. To cook the fish, place the turbot portions in the beer liquor and cover with foil. Cook over a low heat for 12 minutes. Remove the foil, carefully turn the fish and add the peas and parsley. Cook for 1 minute, then take off the heat.
  5. Carefully pour off the braising liquor into a saucepan, place over a medium heat and whisk in the remaining butter, in pieces. Pour the liquor back over the fish and scatter over the crispy bacon. Serve at once.

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