1 whole pike, approximately 2kg
for the court bouillon:
3 litres water
1 litre white wine
2 carrots, chopped 2 onions, chopped
2 sticks of celery, chopped
2 cloves of garlic, crushed, peeled and chopped
2 sprigs of thyme
2 bay leaves
a bunch of flat-leaf parsley
1 tbsp salt
5g black peppercorns
a pinch of fennel seeds
for the beurre blanc.
2 shallots, diced
200 ml court bouillon stock
juice of 1/2 lemon
500 g butter, softened
flat-leaf parsley to garnish
1. Place all the court bouillon ingredients in a large poaching pan or fish kettle, cover with a lid and bring to the boil, then simmer for 25 minutes.
2. Prepare the pike: gut and clean it well under running cold water, and cut off the fins and tail, and, if you must, the head. (You can always ask your fishmonger to do this.)
3. Carefully add the pike to the court bouillon in the fish kettle, bring to a very gentle simmer and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow the fish to rest in the court bouillon while you make the beurre blanc, after first taking 200 ml of the liquid to use in it.
4. Simmer the shallots, court bouillon and lemon juice in a frying pan until reduced by half. Add small knobs of the butter and mix constantly with a balloon whisk over a medium heat until all the butter is absorbed and you have a creamy glossy sauce. Do not boil.
5. Lift the pike out of the fish kettle, drain and garnish with parsley. Serve the sauce separately.