Sole Diamond Jubilee

Poached Dover sole with pancetta, apple and fennel salad, salsify, port wine sauce and caviar oil.

This recipe calls for meat glue, otherwise known transglutaminase, which can be sourced from specialist chefs' suppliers.


For the sole
  • 2 x 350g/13oz Dover sole

  • 1 tsp meat glue

  • 6 slices pancetta

  • salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the sauce
For the garnish
  • 8 x 10cm/4in spears salsify

  • 1 lemon, halved

  • 2-3 tbsp clarified butter

  • ½ head fennel, julienned

  • ½ apple, preferably Granny Smith variety

  • 1 tbsp vinaigrette

  • 1 tbsp chopped dill

  • 1 pinch fennel pollen seasoning (50% salt, 40% fennel pollen, 10% freshly milled white pepper)

  • 1 tsp caviar oil

Preparation method

  1. For the sole, carefully double-fillet the Dover soles. This means taking the fillets off each side of the soles in one piece, so you have two fillets from each fish. Reserve the bones and trimmings for the sauce.

  2. Dust the edges of two of the fillets with the meat glue and then place pancetta down the centre of each one. Place the other fillets on top of each and press down lightly.

  3. Trim the fish neatly then either place in a vacuum pac and seal, or wrap in six sheets of cling film and flatten carefully. Make sure there are no air bubbles in the parcel.

  4. Place the fish parcel in the fridge and leave to chill for four hours.

  5. For the sauce, gently fry the fish bones and trimmings in the butter until they start to colour then add the mushrooms, shallots, fennel and bouquet garni.

  6. Add the liquids, reduce the sauce to a coating consistency, adjust the seasoning where necessary and pass through a fine sieve. Set aside and keep warm.

  7. To cook the fish, fill a large sauté pan about half full with water then heat to 80C/175F. Carefully add the fish parcel and poach for about six minutes. Remove the fish from the parcel and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  8. For the garnish, peel the salsify and cook it with the lemon in boiling salted water until tender then refresh in iced water. Pan-fry the salsify in a non-stick pan with the clarified butter until golden-brown then season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and keep warm.

  9. Julienne the apple; this should be done at the last minute to prevent it browning. Dress the julienned fennel and apple with the vinaigrette and chopped dill then sprinkle with the fennel pollen seasoning.

  10. To serve, place four pieces of salsify horizontally on each plate. Lay the fish on top then place the apple and fennel salad down the centre of the fish. Spoon the sauce around the edge then drizzle with the caviar oil.

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