Turbot, Brill, Cod or Monkfish with Black Peppercorns

Preparation info

  • Difficulty


  • serves


Appears in

Darina Allen's Simply Delicious Suppers

Darina Allen's Simply Delicious Suppers

By Darina Allen

Published 2001

  • About

This recipe for fish with peppercorns sounds most unlikely. It is an adaptation of a recipe in Jane Grigson’s Fish Cookery, and even though it is a little extravagant the delicious result makes it worthwhile.


  • 8 turbot, brill, cod or monkfish steaks, 7mm thick (allow about 140 g per person)
  • salt
  • 1½–2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
  • 1½–2 tablespoons flour
  • 45 g unsalted butter
  • 1 generous tablespoon olive oil
  • 55 ml brandy
  • 55 ml port
  • 150 ml fish stock or light chicken stock
  • 150 ml cream


  • flat-leaf parsley or watercress sprigs


Season the fish steaks with salt. Crush the peppercorns coarsely in a pestle and mortar and mix with the flour. Coat the fish on both sides with this mixture. Melt one-third of the butter with the olive oil in a wide frying pan and fry the steaks on a gentle heat until golden on both sides. When the fish is almost cooked add the brandy and port and flame, then add the stock, bring to the boil and simmer for 3–4 minutes or until the fish is just cooked through.

Lift the fish carefully on to a serving dish. Add the cream to the pan and reduce until the sauce thickens to a light coating consistency. Whisk in the remaining butter. Taste and correct seasoning. Spoon over the fish and serve immediately. Garnish with flat-leaf parsley or watercress sprigs.