Monkfish joint roasted with potatoes and rosemary
This a very good way of turning monkfish into a truly celebratory meal giving the star spot at the occasion. The firm meat of the monkfish allows it to take on the flavours of anchovy and rosemary so well, crispy roast potatoes are a must and a well made salsa verde would be a good “gravy”.
1 monkfish tail, weighing about 1.2-1.4kg (ask your fishmonger to skin it, fillet it and remove the membranes from the fillets)
4 salted anchovies
2 garlic cloves, finely sliced
A few sprigs of rosemary
Some butcher’s string
Salt and pepper
For the potatoes
Enough potatoes for 4, peeled and cut into
A few sprigs of rosemary
About 15 whole cloves of garlic, roasted in their skins with salt and olive oil for about 10 minutes in a hot oven
Parsley, to serve
Lemon juice, to serve
Heat the oven to 200c
Lay the fish fillets out on a board. You will notice that each fillet has a flat side, which is where the bone would have been. Lay one of the fillets with this side facing uppermost and lay the four anchovy fillets crossways down the fish. Slice the garlic and then lay on as well, then the rosemary. Take the other fillet with the flat side facing down and place the thick end against the thin end of the fillet which is on the board. If you roll this onto its side you should now have a cylindrical joint with your herbs and anchovies sandwiched between the two. Take some butcher’s string and tie it round the joint in 25mm spaces, nice and tight. Add some olive oil to a frying pan, season the monkfish with a little salt and pepper and sear all over until golden. Set aside, ready for the oven.
Blanch the potatoes until just softened. Drain through a colander and allow to steam dry. Sieve over some flour and toss in the colander to make sure they are well coated. Take the roasting tin in which the garlic cloves were roasted, add a little more olive oil and place in the oven to get the oil really hot. Tip in the potatoes with the garlic, stir thoroughly to ensure they are well coated with the olive oil. Add the sprigs of rosemary and return to the oven for about 10-15 minutes.
Remove the potatoes from the oven and add the seared monkfish, put back in the oven and cook for a further 10-15 minutes until the fish is just cooked and the potatoes are crisp and golden. If the potatoes cook before the fish, simply remove them and keep hot, and continue cooking the fish. To serve, cut the monkfish into equal chunks, stand them on their ends, sprinkle with parsley and a few drops of lemon juice. Season the whole tray with sea salt and serve.