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The Silver Spoon, Phaidon Press

Serves 4


    • 1/4 cup butter
    • 1 shallot, chopped
    • 1 carrot chopped
    • 2 tablespoons brandy
    • 1½ cups red wine
    • 4 fresh sage leaves
    • 1 fresh thyme sprig, leaves only
    • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
    • 2¼ pounds monkfish fillets, cut into chunks
    • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
    • 2 tablespoons olive oil
    • 3½ ounces pearl onions, chopped
    • 3½ ounces mushrooms
    • salt and pepper


Melt half the butter in a pan, add the shallot and carrot and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes until lightly browned. Add the brandy and cook until it has evaporated. Add the red wine, sage, thyme and vinegar and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer very gently for about 20 minutes.

Strain the sauce, return it to the pan and reheat thoroughly. Add the fish and cook for 10 minutes. Remove the fish from the pan with a slotted spoon and keep warm. Increase the heat under the sauce to high and cook until reduced.

Meanwhile, combine the remaining butter and the flour to a paste, then stir it into the sauce to thicken. Cook, stirring constantly, for 10 minutes.

Heat the olive oil in another pan, add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until softened.

Add the mushrooms and stir in the sauce, then add the fish and cook over low heat for 5 minutes.

Transfer to a warm serving dish.

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