250 mldry red wine50 mlport2golden shallots, thinly sliced1head garlic, halved3thyme sprigs250 ml (1 cup)veal stock60 ml (¼ cup)olive oil, for brushing6wild barramundi fillets (about 200gm each)200 gmsea salt flakes800 mlchicken or fish stock12small Dutch cream potatoes, trimmed into barrel shapesGratinated leeks30 mlextra-virgin olive oil100 gmdried coarse breadcrumbs1/3 cup(firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped, plus extra to serve6small leeks, white parts only1 tbspDijon mustard
Combine wine, port, shallot, garlic and thyme in a saucepan, stir occasionally over medium heat until it forms a light syrup (15-20 minutes). Add veal stock, cook until reduced to a sauce consistency (15-20 minutes). Remove from heat, strain through a fine sieve (discard solids), keep warm.
Meanwhile, place fish on a tray, scatter with salt, turn to coat, and stand until fish is lightly salted (10 minutes). Rinse fish under cold water, pat dry with absorbent paper, set aside.
Meanwhile, for gratinated leeks, preheat oven to 180C. Heat extra-virgin olive oil in a wide saucepan over medium heat. Add breadcrumbs, stir occasionally until golden (4-6 minutes). Season to taste, then stir through parsley and set aside. Meanwhile, blanch leeks in lightly salted boiling water until just tender (5-10 minutes). Drain, cut into 6cm lengths, brush with Dijon mustard and transfer to a baking dish large enough to fit leeks snugly in a single layer. Scatter with breadcrumbs and bake until golden and leeks are warmed through (4-6 minutes).
Increase oven to 220C. Heat a char-grill pan over high heat, brush fish with oil and grill, skin-side down, until charred and golden (1-2 minutes). Transfer to a shallow baking dish large enough to fit fish snugly, pour in enough chicken stock to half-fill the dish and bake until almost cooked through (10-15 minutes).
Meanwhile, cook potatoes in boiling salted water over medium-high heat until tender (5-10 minutes). Keep warm.
Remove fish from pan (discard stock) and serve hot with gratinated leeks, potatoes scattered with parsley, and red wine sauce.
This recipe is from the July 2010 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.