Terrine of Turbot and Button Mushrooms

Preparation info

  • Serves


    • Difficulty


Appears in

A Feast of Fish

A Feast of Fish

By Ian McAndrew

Published 1989

  • About


  • 1 kg/2 lb turbot meat (a 2.5-3 kg/5-6 lb turbot should yield this amount)
  • 56-60 button mushrooms
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • 20 g/¾ oz butter
  • 16-18 large spinach leaves
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 egg whites
  • 450 ml/¾ pint double cream
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 85 ml/3 fl oz dry vermouth
  • freshly ground white pepper
  • Pinch of nutmeg


    Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4.

    Remove the stalks from the mushrooms and wash well. Put them in a saucepan with the lemon juice and 15 g/½ oz of the butter, bring to the boil, then remove from the heat, leave to cool and then drain. Blanch the spinach leaves in boiling salted water for a couple of seconds and refresh in iced water. Lay them out on a cloth to drain. Butter a 28 cm/11 inch terrine mould with the remaining butter, then line it with the spinach, saving about 4 leaves for later. Make sure there are no holes and allow a 7.5 cm/3 inch overhang all the way round.

    Fillet and skin the turbot, cut a strip of about 4 cm/1½ inches wide lengthwise from each of the 2 large fillets. Season these strips, lay them end to end so that they are the length of the terrine and wrap in the saved spinach leaves. (This strip is placed down the middle of the terrine later.)

    Cut the remaining turbot into small pieces and purée in a blender or food processor along with the salt until smooth. Add the egg whites and blend for a few seconds more or until well mixed in. Remove from the blender and rub the mixture through a sieve to remove any sinews – only by doing this can you be sure of a really fine texture. Set the bowl on crushed ice and gradually add two-thirds of the cream, followed by the egg yolks, vermouth and seasoning. Test the mousse and, if it is too rubbery, add a little more cream and test again. The texture should be soft, but should still hold together and not break up.

    To assemble the terrine, put a 1 cm/½ inch layer of mousse in first, making sure there are no air bubbles. Put in 2 lines of mushrooms the length of the terrine and cover with another 1 cm/½ inch layer of mousse. Lay the turbot wrapped in the spinach down the centre and cover with mousse, making sure you fill in between the strip and the sides of the dish – this is best done using a piping bag. Lay in another 2 lines of mushrooms and cover with the remaining mousse. Fold over the spinach so that the top is completely covered. Cover the terrine with buttered foil and place in a bain-marie of simmering water. Cook in the oven for 35-45 minutes. To test whether the terrine is cooked, pierce the centre with a trussing needle – it should go in and through the centre of the turbot easily and come out clean and warm. Leave the terrine to rest in a cool place – it is best eaten about 24 hours later.