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Pike with beetroot sauce

Preparation time: 15 minutes, plus marinating,
Cooking time: 45-50 minutes,
Oven temperature: 190°C, 375°F, gas 5,
Calories: 400 per portion

ingredients

serves 6
1 pike, weighing about 2 kg (4 1/2 lb) gutted, scaled and cleaned
juice of 1 lemon
salt and pepper
50 g (2 oz) rindless back bacon
1 bunch mixed fresh herbs
40 g (1 1/2 oz) margarine
250 g (9 oz) cooked beetroot
4 tablespoons dry red wine
1 teaspoon sugar
herbs, to garnish

method

1. Wash the pike, wipe dry with absorbent kitchen paper and sprinkle inside and out with lemon juice. Leave the fish to marinate for about 10 minutes, then season with salt and pepper to taste.

2. Make deep cuts on each side of the fish with a sharp knife and fill each cut with a slice of bacon. Stuff the fish with the herbs. Place the fish in a large roasting tin and dot with 25 g/ 1 oz of the margarine. Cook in the oven for 45-50 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, to make the sauce, puree the beetroot in a liquidizer with the red wine. Transfer to a small pan and heat gently. Stir in the remaining margarine, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste.

4. Arrange the fish on a warmed platter, garnish with herbs and serve with the sauce.

Pike is often caught by anglers, but it may be difficult to find in a fishmonger. Another oily fish, such as salmon trout, could be used instead.

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