1John Dory weighing 1kg (2¼lb), filleted but not skinned
1 large onion weighing 180g (6½oz)
2 large waxy potatoes weighing 400g (14oz)
2cloves of garlic
1 sprig thyme
2 large ripe tomatoes, weighing 80g (3oz) apiece
40g (1½oz) butter
fresh young wines. Provençal red, white or rosé
Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/Mark 6. Peel the onion and slice it into fine rounds. Melt 15g (½oz) of butter in a frying-pan and soften the onions in it over a slow heat until they begin to turn golden.
Bring 6tablespoons of water to the boil in a small saucepan and dissolve the stock cube, together with the pinch of saffron. Set aside.
Peel the potatoes and wipe them (do not wash them). Slice them into paper-thin slices (3–4mm thick), spread them out on a cloth or kitchen paper, and season with salt and pepper. Crush the cloves of garlic without peeling them. Slice the tomatoes without peeling them.
Butter the inside of a gratin dish 20–25cm (8–10inches) long and arrange a single layer of potato slices in it, followed by the onion cooked in butter (1). Lay the John Dory fillets, seasoned with salt and pepper on both sides, on top, and the tomato slices on top of that. Put a crushed clove of garlic at each end of the dish, and lay the thyme and bayleaf on the tomatoes. Cover the whole dish with the remaining potato slices. Cut the remaining butter into small pieces and dot them over the top, pour over the saffron-flavoured stock (2), and bake uncovered in the oven for 1 hour. Serve in the gratin dish. The liquid will have evaporated and the dish will be covered with a beautiful golden crust.