Tender and tastebud tantalising – Simon Rogan’s brill recipe is brilliant indeed
For the butter-poached brill:
• 500g unsalted butter
• 4 portions of brill, about 80g each
For the griddled asparagus:
• 20 spears of green asparagus
• rapeseed oil
• a pinch of salt
For the watercress cream sauce
• 50ml double cream
• 100ml White Chicken Stock (scroll down to see)
• 150g watercress with stalks
• a pinch of salt
• baby watercress and cornflowers, to serve (optional)
1 Place a large, heavy-based saucepan over a medium heat. Add the butter and cook
until it foams. Once foaming, reduce the heat and let the butter cook for another
10–15 minutes until it reaches a very dark brown colour and has a nutty aroma. It
will be extremely hot.
2 Remove the pan from the heat and allow to cool. When cool,
strain through a muslin-lined sieve and discard the milk solids. Leave to one side.
3 To make the sauce, put the cream and stock in a small, heavy-based saucepan
over a low heat and reduce by half. Transfer to a blender with the watercress and
blend until smooth. Pass through a fine sieve and season.
4 Bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil. Peel each asparagus spear
and snap off the woody part of the stem. Blanch for 2 minutes, or until tender,
then remove and refresh in a bowl of iced water.
5 Drain and leave to dry on kitchen paper. When dry, coat each spear with a drizzle of rapeseed oil and scatter a generous pinch of salt over all of them. Heat a griddle pan over a high heat, add the asparagus spears and grill for 2–3 minutes, or until slightly charred.
6 In a medium, heavy-based saucepan over a low heat, bring the browned butter
to a temperature of 55°C. Remove from the heat, add the fish and leave to cook
gently in the residual heat of the butter for 15–20 minutes.
7 Remove the fish from the butter and drain on kitchen paper.
8 Divide the asparagus among plates. Spoon the watercress sauce on to
each plate and place the cooked fish on top. Finish with baby watercress and
For the white chicken stock:
• 3kg chicken wings
1 Roughly chop the chicken wings and put them in a large, heavy-based saucepan with 5 litres of water. Bring to the boil over a medium heat, then reduce the heat and simmer for 2–3 hours, skimming occasionally.
2 Remove from the heat and leave to cool, the strain through a muslin-lined
sieve. Keep the stock covered in the fridge and use within 3–4 days, or freeze and use within 3 months.
Recipe extracted from Rogan: The Cookbook by Simon Rogan, with photography by Cristian Barnett (HarperCollins, £30)