"As an apprentice I would eat out in Sydney's restaurants as frequently as I could and whole pay cheques at times would be blown on extravagant meals. During that time of exploration, one of the best dishes I tried was a simple poached kingfish with artichokes, cooked in sauce barigoule, at the wonderful restaurant Bistrode (quite possibly one of my all-time favourite places). Here is my interpretation of that wonderful plate of food." - Josh Niland.
6 x 180g hapuka, bass, grouper or bar cod fillets, skin on and pin-boned
1 Tbs coriander seeds
1/2 Tbs fennel seeds
1/2 Tbs black peppercorns
1 fresh bay leaf
4 thyme sprigs
300mL extra virgin olive oil
1/2 onion, finely sliced
1/2 carrot, finely sliced
1/2 celery heart stalk, finely sliced
500mL dry white wine
1kg Jerusalem artichokes, halved
2 egg yolks
1/2 Tbs Dijon mustard
2 tsp white wine vinegar
250mL grapeseed oil
Juice of 1/2 a lemon
3 garlic cloves, finely grated
To serve: (optional)
1/2 bunch each French tarragon, flat leaf (Italian) parsley and chervil, leaves picked
3 sorrel leaves, sliced
1/2 bunch dill, sprigs picked
Tie spices and herbs together in a muslin cloth (cheesecloth) to make a bouquet garni.
Heat olive oil in a large, wide-based saucepan and cook onion, carrot, celery and garlic for 7 minutes until tender, without colouring.
Add wine and bouquet garni and bring to the boil. Add water and return to the boil, then set aside.
Rest a bowl on a tea towel draped over a saucepan to stabilise it. Add egg yolks, mustard, vinegar and salt to the bowl and whisk to combine well. Continue whisking, slowly drizzling in the grapeseed oil to form a thick emulsion.
Taste and add extra salt, lemon juice and garlic to taste. It should be the thickness of softly whipped cream, so adjust with a little warm water if necessary. Set aside.
Place 500mL of barigoule liquid and the cooked vegetables into a large saucepan and set aside. Place the remaining barigoule liquid in a large, heave-based lidded pan and bring to the boil. Add artichokes and cook until tender, then remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
Remove pan from heat, add fish, cover and set aside for 7-8 minutes until the flesh is just opaque. Using a slotted spoon, carefully remove the fish to a plate and gently peel away skin.
Combine, tarragon, parsley, chervil, sorrel and dill, if using, and set aside.
Bring reserved 500mL barigoule liquid and the vegetables, including artichokes, to a simmer and spoon over the fish. Add a generous tablespoon of mayonnaise and serve with reserved herbs.
Traditionally a barigoule is used to poach and preserve artichokes. This stock has a generous layer of oil on top of it, but don’t discard it as it acts as a vinaigrette for the dish. The aromatics and vegetables also make a beautiful garnish for the finished dish.
Credits: This is an edited extract from The Whole Fish by Josh Niland published by Hardie Grant Books AU $55 NZ $60 and is available where all good books are sold.
Photo Credits: © Rob Palmer 2019.