Lightly curry-spiced cod with red wine sauce and lentils
- December 2009
- Serves 4
- Takes 30 min to make, 1 hour to cook
Good red wine isn’t just a great partner for food, it can make a fine ingredient too, as this succulent fish recipe by Rick Stein proves.
- 27.5g (13.5g saturated)
- 22.5g (5.5g sugars)
- 100g Puy lentils, well rinsed
- 1 fresh thyme sprig, plus extra, chopped, to serve
- 2 fresh bay leaves
- 40g unsalted butter
- 1 small onion, finely chopped
- 4 x 150g sustainably caught cod fillets with skin
- ½ tsp mild curry powder
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Chopped fresh parsley leaves and lemon wedges, to serve
For the red wine sauce
- 50g unsalted butter, softened
- ½ small carrot, finely chopped
- ½ celery stick, finely chopped
- ½ small onion, finely chopped
- Small pinch each of ground cloves, cinnamon, and dried chilli flakes
- Seeds of 2 green cardamom pods
- Large pinch of mild curry powder
- 625ml dry red wine such as Cabernet Sauvignon
- 625ml good-quality chicken stock
- 1 tsp caster sugar
- ¼ tsp salt
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- For the red wine sauce, place half the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Add the carrot, celery and onion and cook gently, stirring, for 10 minutes until the onion is lightly browned. Add the cloves, cinnamon, chilli, cardamom and curry powder, and cook for a further 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add the red wine, stock, sugar and the salt. Increase the heat to high, then boil for 20 minutes until the sauce has reduced by two-thirds (to about 450ml). Strain through a fine sieve into a small clean pan, discarding the vegetables and whole spices. Set aside and cover to keep warm.
- Whisk the remaining softened butter with the flour in a small bowl until combined. Set this butter paste (beurre manié) aside. Put the lentils in a small pan and cover with water. Add 1 thyme sprig and the bay leaves, then bring to the boil over a high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer, uncovered, for 20 minutes until the lentils are tender. Drain, discarding the herbs.
- In a separate deep frying pan, melt 20g of the butter over a medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, for 2-3 minutes until soft but not coloured. Add the lentils and 2 tbsp water, then season to taste and stir to warm through. Reduce the heat to low, then cover and keep warm while you cook the fish.
- Lightly sprinkle the cod on both sides with curry powder, salt and black pepper. Heat the oil in a large, non-stick frying pan over a medium heat. Cook the cod skin-side down for 3 minutes until pale golden and just cooked through. Add the remaining 20g butter and turn the fish carefully to coat it in the butter, then turn off the heat.
- While the fish is cooking, return the wine sauce to a simmer over a medium heat. Gradually whisk in the beurre manié until you have a smooth sauce. Check the seasoning.
- Divide the lentils among 4 plates, then top with the cod fillets. Spoon the red wine sauce around the plate and garnish with parsley, thyme and lemon wedges, to squeeze over.
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