Somerset Fish Casserole

Cider is aflavoursome - and British- alternative to white wine when cooking fish. Its robust taste makes it a good partner for the stronger brill or coley suggested in the recipe. For a more pronounced cider flavour use slightly more than suggested and boil it down to the required quantity.


serves 4
900 g (2 lb) brill or coley fillets, skinned
50 g (2 oz) plain flour
salt and pepper
65 g (2 1/2 oz) butter
1 medium onion, skinned and finely chopped
300 ml (1/2 pint) dry cider
10 ml (2 tsp) anchovy essence
15 ml (1 tbsp) lemon juice
1 eating apple
chopped fresh parsley, to garnish


1. Cut the fish into 5 cm (2 inch) chunks, then coat the chunks in 25 g (1 oz) of the flour, seasoned with salt and pepper.

2. Melt 25 g (1 oz) of the butter in a medium saucepan and cook the onion gently for 5 minutes, until softened. Add the fish and cook for a further 3 minutes or until lightly browned on all sides. Remove the fish and onion to a buttered ovenproof serving dish.

3. To make the sauce, add 25 g (l oz) of the butter to that remaining in the pan, then add the remaining flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Gradually stir in the cider, anchovy essence and lemon juice. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously, then simmer for
2-3 minutes, until thick and smooth.

4. Pour the sauce over the fish and cook in the oven at
180°C (350°F) mark 4 for 20 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, peel, core and slice the apple into rings, then fry the apple rings in the remaining butter for 1 - 2 minutes. Drain on kitchen paper and use to top the fish. Serve garnished with chopped parsley.

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