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Shetland Monkfish Bake

Shetland Monkfish Bake Recipe

Enjoy a Scottish seafood dish with Eagle Brae and our Shetland Monkfish Bake Recipe. So, this is a great dish in terms of being environmentally friendly as Monkfish are plentiful around Shetland. And its extraordinarily delightful as the fish comes to us directly from Shetland via Scrabster on the north coast. Firstly, lets learn about the fish! In the past monkfish has been called the “poor man’s scampi” or “poor man’s lobster”. And it’s certainly true that its flesh is firm and similar to both scampi and lobster. But, don’t think this will take away from the taste!

Here, we will take you through a quick-to-prepare, and very tasty bake where the juicy flesh of the monkfish is brilliantly showcased by the pleasant acidity of the sieved tomato based sauce.

The Ingredients (feeds 4) 

Homecooked Eagle Brae Shetland Monkfish Pie served on a plate with roast peppers, beans and potatoes

Preparing the Fillets

So, lets start with the preparation of this delightful fish. As Monkfish is fairly straight forward to fillet, it’s also a great fish for beginners! But it does have a slightly tricky gelatinous membrane between the flesh and the skin. As such, usually the fishmonger will remove the outer skin for you. And so, all you will have to do is remove the spine and the gelatinous membrane. Take the tail and place on a chopping board with spikey spines up the way (there are usually a few spines still connected from the central dorsal fin area). Using a sharp knife run the knife down both sides of the spine to free the flesh from the spine which you can now discard (or save for a fish stock). Take one fillet at a time and lay the side with the membrane for removal downwards. Cut it from above about 100mm from the tail tip and just before you cut through rotate the knife 90 degrees and run horizontal out to the tail removing the membrane. This goujon is now ready! Then spin the fillet around so you have hold of the membrane from the already removed piece and run the knife the other way to the top of the fillet removing all the rest of the membrane. You may want to now cut this fillet down the middle and/or in half for smaller goujons. Now take each piece and paste the mustard on each side with a knife and place in casserole dish.

Eagle Brae Shetland Monkfish Pie being carried to a plate in an oven proof dish

 Making the Sauce

There is no cooking at all to be done on the hobs for this recipe which is great! Simply slice your chorizo into coin size discs and add, as they are, to the monkfish in the dish. Chop fresh rosemary and then add together with dried tarragon to the dish. Add salt and black pepper and then pour your sieved tomatoes over everything. Stir around thoroughly and its ready for the oven!

Sieved tomatoes or passata is very easy to prepare yourself: simply take some ripe juicy tomatoes, remove the seeds and watery centre, simmer for a while and then strain or blend and allow to cool. It is readily available in the supermarkets as ‘Passata’ so there is no need to do this yourself if you don’t want to!

Shetland Monkfish Pie sitting in an oven proof dish with side garnishing

 Cooking and Serving The Monkfish Bake

 Set the oven to 190 degrees and add the dish uncovered for 20 minutes. Don’t worry if your sauce reduces down a bit, that’s normal and it will be all the better if it thickens a little. Serve with new potatoes and fresh crunchy greens like runner beans or broccoli. Easy, healthy, and delicious!

For more delicious Eagle Brae dishes, see our other home-cooked recipes.