Poached Fillet of Brill in a Rich Red Wine Sauce

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

A Feast of Fish

A Feast of Fish

By Ian McAndrew

Published 1989

  • About

This has always been a very popular dish with all our customers. The richness of the sauce harmonizes with the brill to give a powerfully-flavoured dish and the turned vegetables offer a wonderful splash of colour as well as providing a contrast in textures. For the sauce, use only a good quality Burgundy; the better the wine, the better the sauce. Turbot or monkfish can be used instead of brill for this dish.


  • 1 x 2.25 kg/5 lb brill
  • 2 medium carrots
  • 2 medium courgettes
  • 2 small turnips
  • 115 g/4 oz calabrese
  • 85 g/3 oz fine French beans
  • 100 g/3 1/2 oz butter
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • 600 ml/1 pint red Burgundy
  • 300 ml/½ pint fish stock
  • 350 ml/12 fl oz veal stock


    Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Gas Mark 6.

    Fillet and skin the brill. Cut the large fillets in half and leave the small fillets whole to give six portions.

    ‘Turn’ the vegetables into small barrel shapes about 2.5 cm/1 inch long or, alternatively, cut them into batons 2.5 cm X 5 mm/1 X¼ inch. Break the calabrese into small florets. Top and tail the beans and break into 2.5 cm/1 inch lengths. Blanch the vegetables in boiling salted water for a few seconds, then refresh in iced water. Drain.

    Butter an ovenproof pan large enough to take all of the fillets without overlapping. Lay the fish in and season with a little salt and freshly ground white pepper. Pour over the wine and cover the pan with buttered paper or foil. Set over a high heat and as soon as the liquid starts to tremble transfer to the oven and cook for about 6 minutes. When cooked, remove the fish from the wine, cover and keep warm. Set the wine over a high heat, add the fish stock and bring to the boil and reduce until only 200 ml/7 fl oz remains. Add the veal stock, bring back to the boil and reduce until it starts to thicken.