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Tronçon of Dover sole with fennel and plum tomato

11 September 2006
Tronçon of Dover sole with fennel and plum tomato

Ingredients (serves one)

15ml olive oil (plus a little extra during cooking)
1 trimmed, bone-in Dover sole (net weight 250g)
Salt (no pepper)
4 baby fennel heads, blanched
1 plum tomato, skinned, halved and seeded
2 lemon rings

For the sauce (see notes)
2tbs fish glaze
2tbs brown chicken glaze
2tbs tomato coulis

To garnish Raw, finely shredded fennel tossed in seasoned oil and lemon juice
Fennel fronds


Heat 15ml of oil in a frying pan. When hot but not smoking, salt the sole and add to pan. Sear for about two minutes on the thick, rounded side to colour, then sear for one minute on the other side.

With a very fresh fish there's a tendency for it to curl up at the edges. If this happens, press it back down against the pan with a fish slice or palette knife (see below).

Off the heat, add the baby fennel to the pan. Lay alternate slices of tomato and lemon rings on the fish, and brush with oil. Spoon the sauce ingredients into the pan. Put the pan under the eye-level grill and let the fish braise in the sauce for five to eight minutes. It's ready when the tomato and lemon edges start to brown.

To fillet, take off lemon and tomato. Reserve the baby fennel. Keep all three hot. Take the sole from the pan to fillet it and reduce the sauce to about three tablespoons. Check seasoning.

Using a knife or fish slice, cut along the middle of the backbone. Ease off the two fillets from either side (see picture). Lift out the backbone and discard it. Lay the two fillets back on top of the two underneath.

To serve, put the reassembled sole on a plate with the tomato and lemon slices on top of it and fennel to one side. Spoon the reduced sauce round the fish.

Garnish with shredded fennel and fronds.

Fish glaze: sweat 100g diced white of leeks and 50g chopped fennel trimmings in 30ml oil. Add 1kg of chopped sole and turbot skins, bones and trimmings. Sweat until the bones become opaque. Add 100ml dry white wine, 1.5 litres water and a bouquet garni. Boil, skim and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain the liquid into a fresh pan through your finest sieve or muslin, and reduce until it coats the back of a spoon (200-300ml). Pour into a jar and reserve.

Browned chicken glaze: make a basic brown chicken stock; strain, skim and reduce till it reaches a syrupy consistency.

Tomato coulis for sauces: seed raw plum tomatoes and blitz with a little olive oil.

Press against the panCut along the middle
![ -
Lift out backbone -

Photo © Adrian Franklin

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Jacobs Media Group is honoured to be the recipient of the 2020 Queen's Award for Enterprise.

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