Roasted Ling with Wild Beer ‘Bibble’ Sabayon, Caramelised Cauliflower, Smoked Eel, Mussels and Clams, Three Cornered Leek, Wild Watercress and Arrow Grass. Served with Crispy Yarrow Leaf Garnish
By chef Harriett Mansell
Pre-heat oven to 180C or heat up a grill on full power.
Trim the fish and set aside
Cut the cauliflower into small florets, ideally 1cm length max, as these will scatter through the dish providing small mouthfuls of sweet nuttiness. Heat a splash of oil and a small knob of butter in a non-stick saucepan, and add the cauliflower florets. Cook on low, stirring occasionally until the cauliflower is a golden caramelised colour. Set aside and re-heat just before plating.
Take your piece of smoked eel and trim the flesh away from the bones, and dice the eel into very small cubes. The idea is that these little cubes run through the dish providing occasional notes of unexpected smokiness.
Clean the mussels and clams, and set aside to cook just before plating. You can choose how to cook these – either in a pan with a little water, under the grill or directly over a fire. If you cook them directly over a fire then they will take on a smoky taste which will also add to the dish.
Set aside your beach herbs, wash and pick so they are ready to add to your plate at the last moment. The beauty of sea herbs is that they have a saltiness and minerality to them which works wonderfully with the fish. If you don’t have sea herbs, be creative and use what you have available to you.
Place a pan of water on to the boil. Take a separate bowl made from either glass or metal and crack three egg yolks into it. Break these up with a whisk. When the water is gently simmering, place the bowl of egg yolks mixed with a dash of the beer over the saucepan and begin whisking immediately. Slowly add the remaining beer whisking all the while and cook out a little, still whisking, until you have a foamy, thick creamy looking sauce. Remove from the heat and taste.
To season the sabayon, do so with red wine vinegar and sea salt. Begin by adding just a reserved splash of the vinegar and a good pinch of salt, then taste again. Think which it might need more of to make it taste good. I would say after a couple of go’s at tweaking the vinegar and salt level you should be in a good place! I can’t be more precise because it’s all about how it tastes on the day.
Heat a splash of oil and a knob of unsalted butter in a non-stick sauce pan, with a crushed clove of garlic and a couple of sprigs of thyme with a metal handle and bring to temperature leaving on a medium to high heat depending on your cooker. You don’t want to burn the fish, rather achieve a golden brown piece of fish. Place the fish skin side down in the pan and leave this for a couple of minutes, periodically spooning the juices in the pan over the fish.
Add a little extra butter if needs be. Once the skin is browned nicely, take the entire pan off the heat and transfer into the oven. Towards the end of cooking, add the three cornered leek or wild garlic into the pan to take on the flavour from the juices and crisp up a little.
Finally, add a splash of lemon juice to the fish in the pan and season with sea salt.
Fry the yarrow leaf either in a fryer, or in a pan with a little oil. Remove and scatter with a little sea salt.
Begin by scattering the florets of cauliflower, the mussels and clams and the cubes of eel across the plate. Place your fish on top of these. Add your three cornered leek, wild watercress or other chosen leaves. Drizzle the plate with a little olive oil. Spoon the sabayon onto the fish. Finish with arrow grass and the crispy yarrow leaf.
Yarrow leaves. They grow everywhere all year round, but feel free to use any herbs that take your fancy. The great thing about yarrow however is how it crisps up when fried, slightly like crispy seaweed!
This recipe is featured in our book Signature Chefs South West & Channel Islands. Click here for more information.
Ingredients for one serving:
- Piece Of Ling (Or Any Firm White Fish Eg Cod, Haddock, Coley) Approx. 200G
- Smoked Eel – 1 Piece
- Beer, A Medium Beer, This Recipe Uses ‘Bibble’ By Wild Beer Co 100Ml / 100G
- Free range Egg Yolks – 3
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Clams (This Recipe Used Wild Dorset Palourde Clams)
- Mussels (This Recipe Used Cornish Mussels)
- Unsalted Butter
- Three Cornered Leek (Though You Could Use Any Seasonal Wild Garlic)???
- Smoked Cod Roe Powder
- 1 Clove Of Garlic
- 2 Springs Of Thyme
- Selection Of Sea Herbs – Eg Purslane, Portulac, Beach Kale, Beach Radish Flowers. This Recipe Used Arrow Grass, Otherwise Known As Sea Coriander, But You Could Use Any Seasonal Sea Herbs.
- Oil – Ideally Rapeseed Will Be Fine ????
- Maldon Sea Salt
- Yarrow Leaves – 1 or 2 For Garnish