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John Dory and shellfish ragoût with saffron rouille

You'll need

80 ml clarified butter 10 John Dory fillets (90gm each) 30 ml olive oil 20 uncooked peeled prawns, tails intact 2 calamari, cleaned, cut into thick slices 20 mussels, scrubbed 20 clams, soaked in cold water to remove grit 2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped To taste: sherry vinegar To serve: extra-virgin olive oil and hot paprika   Bouillabaisse fumet 40 gm butter, coarsely chopped 60 ml (¼ cup) olive oil 500 gm fish bones, coarsely chopped 4 onions, thinly sliced large fennel, thinly sliced 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped 1 tbsp fennel seeds Large pinch saffron threads 140 gm tomato paste 1 litre chardonnay 2 litres (8 cups) chicken stock 1 litre (4 cups) fish stock Large pinch cayenne pepper, or to taste 2 each fresh bay leaves and thyme sprigs   Rouille 150 ml olive oil 1 garlic clove, bruised Large pinch saffron threads 1 small Desiree potato, coarsely chopped 2 egg yolks 1 tsp white wine vinegar 125 ml warm clarified butter   Bean purée 600 gm dried borlotti beans, soaked in cold water overnight, drained 1 tbsp olive oil 1 each onion, carrot, celery stalk and leek, coarsely chopped 2 garlic cloves, crushed 1.5 litres (6 cups) chicken stock 60 gm butter, coarsely chopped 2 tbsp sherry vinegar


  • 01
  • For bouillabaisse fumet, heat butter and oil in a very large saucepan over medium heat, add fish bones, onion, fennel, garlic, fennel seeds and saffron and sauté until vegetables are tender (10-20 minutes). Add tomato paste and stir occasionally until paste darkens (3-5 minutes). Add wine and reduce by one-quarter (10-15 minutes). Add stocks, cayenne pepper and herbs and simmer until infused (1 hour). Strain through a fine sieve into a clean saucepan (discard solids), return to the simmer, reduce over low heat until well-flavoured (20-30 minutes), set aside.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for rouille, combine oil, garlic and saffron in a jar and set aside to infuse (overnight). Transfer to a small saucepan (discard garlic), gently warm to 40C. Set aside, keep warm. Place potato in a saucepan, cover with cold water, simmer over medium heat until potato is tender (10-15 minutes), drain, press through a ricer, season to taste, keep warm. Meanwhile, whisk yolks, vinegar and a pinch of fine salt in a heatproof bowl over a pan of simmering water until thick and fluffy (5-7 minutes). Add 40gm potato (discard remainder), whisk to combine, then, whisking continuously, add butter and saffron-infused oil in a thin steady stream until incorporated, season to taste, set aside and keep warm.
  • 03
  • For bean purée, place beans in a large saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to the boil over medium heat, simmer for 3 minutes. Strain, set aside. Heat oil in a separate large saucepan over medium heat, add onion, carrot, celery and leek, stir occasionally until starting to caramelise (8-10 minutes). Add garlic, cook until starting to caramelise (4-6 minutes). Add stock and beans, bring to the boil, then simmer until beans are tender (40-45 minutes). Strain through a fine sieve (reserve liquid), discard vegetables, then process half the beans and 100ml liquid in a blender until smooth (add more stock if necessary). Season to taste, add butter and vinegar, process to combine, set aside and keep warm.
  • 04
  • Meanwhile, preheat oven to 50C. Heat clarified butter in a large frying pan over medium-high heat, season fish and cook in batches, skin-side down, until golden (1-2 minutes), transfer to a baking tray lined with baking paper and roast until just cooked through (8-10 minutes).
  • 05
  • Meanwhile, add half prawns to pan, sauté until just cooked through (2-3 minutes), set aside and keep warm, then repeat with remaining prawns. Add calamari to pan and sauté until just cooked through (2-3 minutes), set aside and keep warm.
  • 06
  • Warm bouillabaisse fumet and remaining beans in a saucepan over medium heat, add mussels and clams, cook until shellfish open (6-8 minutes), season to taste, then add parsley and vinegar to taste. Divide bean purée between bowls, top each with a piece of fish, then rouille, then divide seafood and bouillabaisse fumet between bowls, drizzle with olive oil, season to taste with hot paprika and serve hot with rouille.
This recipe is from the January 2011 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.

You'll need to begin this recipe a day ahead.

At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 10 people

Drink Suggestion

2008 Yering Station Chardonnay

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