Beetroot-cured brill with chilled watercress and sorrel soup and horseradish cream

Serves 4 Starters and mains

Links220701 039 Beetroot Cured Brill



  • 500g thick brill fillet or monkfish from a 2kg fish, skinned
  • extra virgin olive oil, to garnish
  • zest 1 lemon, to garnish

For the cure

  • 500g beetroot, peeled and cut into 3cm cubes
  • 2tsp fennel seeds
  • small bunch tarragon, leaves only
  • 100g caster sugar
  • 100g sea salt

For the watercress soup

  • olive oil, to fry
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled, green germ removed, and sliced
  • 1 large potato, peeled and thinly sliced
  • approx. 500ml vegetable stock large bunch watercress, leaves only
  • 2 handfuls sorrel leaves

For the horseradish cream

  • 100ml double cream
  • 100ml crème fraîche
  • 2tsp good-quality creamed horseradish, or to taste zest 1 lemon
  • 1tbsp chopped mint


Check the fish for any bones and trim as necessary.

For the cure, put the beetroot, fennel seeds, tarragon, sugar and salt in a food processor and blitz until smooth. Lay the brill on a tray big enough to hold everything and spoon the cure over the fish so that it is all covered. Cover with clingfilm or place in a reusable, lidded plastic box and leave to cure in the fridge for 6 hours.

Wash off the cure and pat the brill dry; at this stage it is ready to eat.

To make the soup, heat a good drizzle of olive oil in a medium pan, add the
onion and garlic and cook for 1 minute, without colouring. Add the potato, then
pour over enough of the vegetable stock to cover. Simmer for around 10 minutes until the potato is cooked, then transfer the contents of the pan to a blender.

Put a frying pan over a medium-high heat and add a little oil. Add the watercress and sorrel and fry briefly until just wilted. Transfer the watercress and sorrel to the blender and blitz for 3 minutes or until smooth. Season with sea salt to taste, then pour the soup into a bowl and chill over ice so that it will retain its vivid green colour.

For the horseradish cream, whisk the cream and crème fraîche until softly peaking, then fold in the horseradish, lemon zest and mint. Taste and add a little seasoning, or a little more horseradish if necessary.

To serve, slice the fish and arrange on a platter, drizzle olive oil over and sprinkle with lemon zest. Divide the soup among 4 bowls, then serve immediately topped with some of the brill and horseradish cream, with the rest on the side.

Recipe by Nathan Outlaw
Links220701 039 Beetroot Cured Brill
Recipe by Nathan Outlaw


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