Braised Brill with Minestrone, Bacon and Salsa Verde

Brill and Minestrone

Serves 4-5 main course
Preparation   :  1 hour
Cooking time :  35mins          Total 1.5 hrs

A Weekend Dish for the family.  We chose Brill as it is known for its sweet taste and firm texture, but you could substitute this for Monkfish, Sea Bass or Turbot.  If you are looking for something more affordable, perhaps go for Sea Bream.
The Minestrone vegetables can vary according to the season/availability/personal preference.



  • 1.3 – 1.5 kg Brill.  Ask your fishmonger to prepare the fish for you and cut into steaks (8 – 10) giving you the head and trimmings (for roasting).  If you want to make your own fish stock dont forget to ask your for bones for this at the same time.


25g of Tarragon leaves
25g of Parsley leaves
1 Tablespoon of Capers
1 Tablespoon of chopped Gherkin
1 good teaspoon of Dijon Mustard
Juice of one Lemon
Two cloves of Garlic
Good glug of Extra Virgin Olive Oil




Parsley root (Parsnip as an alternative)


Fine Green Beans

Cannellini Beans (tinned is okay)

Waxy Potatoes

150g of smoked bacon lardons

100g of small shallots/pickling onions,

3 large cloves of garlic crushed with sea salt to a paste

1 Litre Fish Stock

Olive Oil

Allergens: For those of you with allergies please remove or substitute accordingly




Take your prepared fish out of the fridge and season the steaks cover and set aside.

If you didnt get your fishmonger to prepare the fish its time to get out a heavy knife, sharp scissors as well as a mallet.
Remove the head and cut  into 8-10 equal sized steaks.  Ensure the frills from the side of the fish are removed, use very sharp scissors for this.
Keep all the trimmings.

  1. Preheat your Oven to 200C (Fan 180C or Gas 6) .  Line a baking tray and roast all the bones, including the head for about 25 minutes.
  2. While the bones are roasting, make the Salsa Verde.
    Place all the ingredients into a blender and mix until finely chopped.  Set aside.
  3. Make up 1 litre of fish stock and add the roasted fish trimmings and head to the stock.
    Bring the stock gently to a simmer and skim any residue from the top.
    Take the stock pan off the heat and pour through a fine sieve into a clean pan.  Put aside.
  4. Cut your vegetables into even sized pieces. There should be an equal amount of each vegetable – about 100 – 120g of each.
  5. Heat the pan and fry the bacon lardons, set these aside.
  6. Make your garlic paste by crushing the garlic with the sea salt.
  7. Peel and cut the shallots/onion in half.
  8. Using a large pan, heat some olive oil and sauté the onions until they are just beginning to brown.
    Add the garlic paste and cook for about 1 minute, next  add all the chopped vegetables and cook for a couple of minutes.
    Add the stock and bring slowly to a simmer.
  9. Cook for about 10 minutes or until the vegetables are just softening.
    The root vegetables need to be soft but not too soft – timing on this can be a bit unpredictable so I would say test whilst cooking.
    After 10 minutes they should have softened a little.
  10. Now add the Brill steaks and bacon lardons into the Minestrone pan,  and cover the pan with foil.
  11. Continue cooking on a gentle simmer for about 12 minutes.
    Test that the fish is cooked  – it will be moist and come away from the bone.
  12. Remove the Brill from the pan, take off the skin and any remaining pin bones from the frill.  Keep the fish warm.
  13. Stir 2 tbsp of the Salsa Verde into the minestrone, season with sea salt and black pepper to taste.
  14. Ladle the Minestrone into bowls, place the Brill on top of the vegetables.
    Drizzle a little Salsa Verde around the dish.

Serve  and  Enjoy.




This recipe was created by Pete Thompson for Steve Hatt Fishmongers