Grilled Kabeljou rustic mussel stew


    • 30ml (2 tbsp) olive oil
    • 100g butter
    • 1 large carrot, roughly chopped
    • 1 medium onion, roughly chopped
    • 2 stalks celery, sliced
    • a few fresh basil and tarragon leaves tied together in a muslin bag with 1 star anise
    • 250ml (1 cup) dry white wine
    • 400ml good quality fish stock
    • 2 large tomatoes, skinned, seeded and cubed
    • 30ml (2 tbsp) fresh flat-leaf parsley, chopped
    • salt and pepper, to taste
    • 300g fresh mussels, washed and bearded 
    • zest of ½ lime
    • Maldon Sea Salt
    • freshly ground black pepper
    • 4 x 200 – 250g kabeljou fillets (or any firm white sustainable linefish)
    • 30g (3 tbsp) unsalted butter
    • juice of ½ lemon



    Melt the oil and half of the butter in a pan, add the carrot, onion, celery, herbs and star anise in the muslin cloth, and cook gently until softened.


    Add the wine and reduce by half. Add stock and bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 – 8 minutes.


    Add the tomatoes and chopped parsley and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside while you grill the fish.


    Mix the lime zest, Maldon Sea Salt and pepper together and allow the flavours to infuse. Season the fish with the lime mixture, lie on a plate and refrigerate until ready to cook.


    Melt the 30g butter in a separate pan, place the fish flesh-side down and cook for 2 – 3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Turn the fish over and cook skin-side down.


    Pour the lemon juice over the fish and quickly cover with a lid to avoid evaporation and to influence absorption.


    Reheat the stew while slowly mixing in the balance of the butter. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Gently sprinkle the mussels over the top and allow to cook for a further 5 – 8 minutes. Spoon the stew into large soup plates, place the kabeljou on top and serve.


    To drink: An unwooded chardonnay is crisp and fruity – well suited to white fish in a fresh-flavoured sauce.