“I use a Burgundy in this recipe because it won’t overpower the eel, and because that’s the region this dish is from. Alternatively, you could use an Australian pinot noir. But if you don’t want to drink it, then don’t cook with it.”
- 8 thin slices flat pancetta
- 60 gm butter, coarsely chopped
- 600 gm piece eel, cut into 8 (see note)
- 600 gm piece ocean trout fillet, cut into 8
- 1 litre red wine
- 800 ml tawny
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 800 ml fish stock
- 250 ml veal stock (1 cup)
- 16 golden shallots
- 200 gm button mushrooms
- 80 ml pouring cream (1/3 cup)
Red wine and shallot butter
- 80 ml tawny
- 2 golden shallots, finely chopped
- 160 ml red wine
- 200 gm softened butter
- 1For red wine and shallot butter, simmer tawny and shallot in a small saucepan over medium-high heat until reduced by half (3-4 minutes). Add wine and reduce to a glaze (12-15 minutes), remove from heat, season to taste and set aside to cool completely. Process butter in a food processor until pale (1-2 minutes), add wine mixture, season to taste and process to combine. Spread butter mixture along a piece of plastic wrap, roll to enclose and form a 3cm-diameter cylinder, refrigerate until firm (1 hour). Thinly slice into rounds just before serving.
- 2Meanwhile, preheat oven to 150C. Place pancetta on an oven tray lined with baking paper, top with a sheet of baking paper and another oven tray, bake until pancetta is crisp (25-30 minutes) and set aside.
- 3Heat half the butter in a deep frying pan until foaming, add eel, turn occasionally until browned on all sides (1-2 minutes), remove and set aside. Add trout, turn occasionally until seared (1-2 minutes), remove and set aside. Add wine, tawny and bay leaves to pan, reduce by half (15-20 minutes), add fish stock and reduce by half (25-30 minutes), then add veal stock and reduce to sauce consistency (15-20 minutes). Add eel and trout, poach until just cooked through (1-2 minutes).
- 4Meanwhile, heat remaining butter in a frying pan over medium heat until foaming, add shallot and cook, shaking pan and turning shallots occasionally, until caramelised (10-15 minutes). Transfer to fish mixture. Add mushrooms to pan, stir occasionally until tender (3-4 minutes), then add to fish mixture with cream. Simmer to combine, season to taste and serve hot topped with red wine and shallot butter, pancetta, parsley and chervil.
If eel is unavailable, you can substitute any firm-fleshed white fish.
This recipe is from the July 2011 issue of