“I like using two cooking techniques with this dish. You get a crisp, smoky flavoured skin from the grilling and soft, moist flesh from poaching. Wild barramundi has quite an earthy flavour as it resides in the muddy, salty waters of the Northern Territory; but the red wine sauce has a sweetness to it and is an awesome contrast to the fish.”
- 250 ml dry red wine
- 50 ml port
- 2 golden shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 head garlic, halved
- 3 thyme sprigs
- 250 ml veal stock (1 cup)
- 60 ml olive oil, for brushing (¼ cup)
- 6 wild barramundi fillets (about 200gm each)
- 200 gm sea salt flakes
- 800 ml chicken or fish stock
- 12 small Dutch cream potatoes, trimmed into barrel shapes
- 30 ml extra-virgin olive oil
- 100 gm dried coarse breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup (firmly packed) flat-leaf parsley, coarsely chopped, plus extra to serve
- 6 small leeks, white parts only
- 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
- 1Combine 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.
- 2Meanwhile, 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.
- 3Meanwhile, 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).
- 4Increase 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).
- 5Meanwhile, cook potatoes in boiling salted water over medium-high heat until tender (5-10 minutes). Keep warm.
- 6Remove 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 .
Drink Suggestion: A light, fresh and fruity gamay from Beaujolais Villages. Drink suggestion by Marty McCaig & Frederic Blevin