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Tranche of Plaice with saffron and Madeira sauce

Image | Mike Searle © Copyright | Mike Searle

Recipe by

St. Enodoc Hotel

The St Enodoc Hotel. Brasserie & Fine Dining.


Guy Owen



Cooking time – 3 hours – to be enjoyed and not rushed, Guy recommends you take your time, relax, have a beer and enjoy the cooking experience, this dish is a special treat that deserves the time.


Serves: up to 6

1 chunky cut of Cornish plaice per person, gutted and skinned – left on the bone.
Splash of Cornish rapeseed oil
Some Cornish butter
For the Sauce (enough for 6 servings)
3 banana shallots
5 cloves of garlic
25g tarragon (whole)
1g saffron
100ml Madeira
150ml white wine 
1 litres fish stock
300g double cream
12g Cornish Sea Salt


For the sauce 
Take a saucepan and pre heat for two minutes on a low heat (induction 2). Add a little vegetable oil and then add sliced banana shallots. Cook for around 30 mins. Add sliced garlic and cook for a further 30 minutes. Add the tarragon and cook for 20 mins. Add the Madeira and white wine and turn the heat up to number 4, cook for 20 minutes, then add the fish stock and saffron, cook for 30 mins and then add the cream and cook for 20 minutes, finally add the salt and taste.  Remove from the heat and leave to stand for 20 minutes, then blend and sieve the sauce. 
To cook the plaice
Use a non-stick frying pan and get it really hot, add a splash of Cornish rapeseed oil, fry the fish for two minutes on each side to color the flesh. Add a generous chunk of butter to the pan and spoon the melted butter over the plaice repeatedly basting it and imparting the brown butter flavors to the fish. Then transfer the fish to an oven tray and bake for five minutes at 110?c (fan oven).  You want the core temperature of the plaice fillet to reach 55?c ideally.
After cooking leave the plaice for five minutes to rest before serving. Being on the bone this cut of plaice will retain its moisture, and is so easy to eat as it flakes straight off the central bones really easily, and has a robust firm texture. 
Serve with some seasonal steamed vegetables such as runner beans, kale, or green beans. 


Demersal Trawl

Cornish Vessels landing to Cornish ports

Demersal trawls are large nets that are pulled through the water with the bottom edge of the net touching the seabed. At each edge the net is pulled open by metal ‘trawl doors’. Sometimes referred to as Otter trawling.

Gill Netting

Cornish Vessels landing to Cornish ports

Gill nets are lightweight nets made of nylon (monofilament) fishing line that are anchored to the seabed and are used to catch fish by entangling the gills.

Beam Trawling

Cornish Vessels landing to Cornish ports

Beam trawls are nets with a steel beam that holds the net open. The belly of the net is made of chains and the upper surface of the net is mesh. Beam trawlers pull two nets along the seabed simultaneously.

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