Monkfish Braised with Bacon in Red Wine


Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

A Feast of Fish

A Feast of Fish

By Ian McAndrew

Published 1989

  • About

This is possibly not a combination that one would readily think of, but it really does work. It is one of those occasions where red wine is called for with fish, and quite a robust one at that.


  • 2 X 900 g/2 lb monkfish tails
  • 20 large spring onions or button onions
  • 20 small button mushrooms
  • 2 rashers smoked back bacon
  • Salt and freshly ground white pepper
  • Oil for frying
  • 175 ml/6 fl oz red wine
  • 175 ml/6 fl oz fish stock
  • 300 ml/½ pint veal stock


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

    Fillet and skin the monkfish tail. Remove all of the dark-coloured meat and discard. Cut each fillet into squares roughly 2.5 cm/1 inch square-each fillet should yield about 8 pieces. Peel the outside layer from the spring onions and cut off the tops to within 1 cm/½ inch of the bulb. Discard the tops. If possible ‘turn’ each of the button mushrooms and cut off the stalks. Cut the bacon into strips about 4 cm X 5 mm/1½ X¼ inches. Blanch these in boiling water for a couple of seconds and drain well, then fry them in a little oil until nicely browned.

    Combine the red wine and fish stock in an ovenproof pan, add the cubes of monkfish and season. Heat the pan until the liquid just starts to tremble, then place it in the oven until cooked – this will only take about 5 minutes. When the fish is cooked, remove it from the pan, cover and keep warm.

    Reduce the liquid over a high heat until only a quarter of its original volume remains. Add the veal stock, bring back to the boil, then add the spring onions and mushrooms. Continue boiling until the onions are cooked and the sauce has reduced slightly and thickened a little. The onions should remain a bit crisp. If they have cooked before the sauce has thickened, remove them from the pan – they can always be added later.