Tom Kerridge’s curried monkfish wellington

Tom Kerridge’s curried monkfish wellington
  • Serves icon Serves 4-6
  • Time icon Hands-on time 1 hour 20 min, plus 2 hours chilling. Oven time 20-25 min

If you’re looking to make a spectacular burnished-pastry-encased centrepiece, you can’t beat the majesty of a wellington. This version from Tom Kerridge is very different from the classic beef wellington, but will impress and delight in equal measure. Why not try it for your Christmas Eve dinner?

Tom says: “My spin on a classic wellington uses a spiced monkfish loin encased in fragrant coconut rice, then enveloped in puff pastry. It’s a proper dinner party dazzler.” See tips from the delicious. food team below on how to get it right.

Recipe taken from Pub Kitchen by Tom Kerridge (Bloomsbury Absolute £27) and tested by delicious.

Nutrition: Per serving (for 6)

Calories
994kcals
Fat
62g (41g saturated)
Protein
35g
Carbohydrates
72g (6.2g sugars)
Fibre
3.4g
Salt
1.8g
Calories
994kcals
Fat
62g (41g saturated)
Protein
35g
Carbohydrates
72g (6.2g sugars)
Fibre
3.4g
Salt
1.8g

Ingredients

  • 700g monkfish loin, in one piece (see Tips)
  • 25g unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 tsp medium madras curry powder
  • 2 x 320g sheets all-butter puff pastry
  • Plain flour to dust
  • 1 large free-range egg, beaten
  • 2 tsp nigella seeds

For the rice

  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 1 tsp black mustard seeds
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 10 curry leaves, finely chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 2cm piece ginger, finely grated
  • 1 tsp medium madras curry powder
  • 250g basmati rice
  • 500ml fish stock
  • 100ml coconut cream
  • 100g frozen peas

For the sauce

  • 400ml fish stock
  • 500ml coconut cream
  • 1 tsp medium madras curry powder
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped coriander

For the curry butter

  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 2 tsp medium madras curry powder

Method

  1. First prepare the rice. Heat the oil and butter in a large non-stick saucepan over a medium heat. When the butter is melted and foaming, toss in the cumin and mustard seeds, stir well and let them sizzle for a minute. Add the onion and fry for 3-4 minutes, then stir in the curry leaves, garlic and ginger and cook for 2 minutes.
  2. Stir in the 1 tsp curry powder, then tip in the rice and stir well. Pour in the fish stock and bring to a simmer. Reduce the heat and put a lid on the pan. Simmer for 10-12 minutes, then turn the heat off and let the rice stand, covered, for 10 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, lay the monkfish on a tray. Mix the 25g melted butter and 1 tsp curry powder together and brush all over the monkfish, then season both sides of the fish with salt and pepper. Set aside.
  4. Remove the lid from the rice and stir in the 100ml coconut cream and peas. Season with salt and pepper to taste and set aside to cool.
  5. Lay 2 large sheets of cling film on a board, overlapping them slightly. Spoon half the cooled rice mixture on top and spread out to cover an area a little larger than the monkfish. Lay the fish on top of the rice mixture (see tips), pressing down gently. Spread the remaining rice over the fish to totally cover it, then fold the sides of the cling film over to enclose the rice-wrapped fish and roll up tightly. Twist the ends of the cling film to tighten the wrapping further. Lift the rice/monkfish onto a tray and put in the fridge to chill for 1 hour (see Tips).
  6. To assemble, lay one puff pastry sheet on a lightly floured surface and roll lightly to a slightly larger 24cm x 34cm rectangle. Put it on the tray the fish was on, then remove the cling film from the fish and carefully lay it in the middle of the sheet. Brush the exposed pastry with some of the beaten egg, then lay the other sheet of pastry on top to cover the wellington. Trim off any excess on the top pastry sheet – this will be the base when you cook it. Lift up the edges of the bottom sheet to overlap the top sheet slightly and press gently to seal well (see Tips). Put the wellington in the fridge to rest for a further hour.
  7. Heat the oven to 180°C fan/gas 6 and line a large baking tray with baking paper. Carefully turn over the chilled wellington so the seams are now nearer the bottom and brush the pastry all over with the remaining egg. Sprinkle with nigella seeds and sea salt. Lift the wellington onto the lined baking tray and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until the pastry is golden and crisp.
  8. Meanwhile, make the sauce. Pour the fish stock into a pan, bring to a simmer over a high heat and let it bubble until reduced by half. Add the coconut cream and curry powder and simmer for a further 10 minutes until the sauce is slightly thickened.
  9. While the sauce simmers, make the curry butter. Heat the butter in a small saucepan until melted. Stir in the curry powder with a pinch of salt and cook for 1 minute then remove from the heat.
  10. When the wellington is cooked, remove from the oven and leave to rest for 5 minutes before slicing. Gently reheat the curry sauce, stir in the chopped coriander, then ladle into warmed serving bowls. Using a sharp serrated knife, cut the wellington into 6 even pieces and put on top of the sauce. Spoon a little curry butter over each portion and serve at once.

delicious. tips

  1. Tips from the delicious. food team:

    If you’re struggling to get a 700g monkfish loin or tail, you could use 2 smaller tails/loins, top-and-tailing them to get an even thickness all the way along.

    It’s important to allow the rice to cool completely before assembling the wellington – not only will the rice be more robust and firm once cooled, making it easier to shape and spread, but when hot filling meets cold pastry, the fat starts melting into the flour before you want it to, resulting in a chewy, dull finish rather than something puffed up and crisp, plus the soft pastry is liable to tear.

    If you want your wellington to look extra special for Christmas, you can either decorate it with the pastry trimmings or lightly score a cross-hatch pattern into the pastry (just be careful not to cut through it completely). Or, if you are up for a real challenge, get an extra sheet of pastry and cut a lattice to wrap it in.

     

    In step 6, you want the bottom sheet of pastry to come up the sides and overlap the top sheet enough to form a good seal but not too much or the pastry case will be too thick. You’ll turn the wellington over before cooking so the seams will be nearer the bottom.

  2. You can make the sauce and butter up to 24 hours in advance and keep chilled in the fridge – just gently reheat before serving. The assembled wellington can also sit in the fridge for up to 12 hours before baking.

Recipe By

Tom Kerridge

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