Fish Fillets Braised in Red Wine, Bacon, and Mushrooms

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WHOA THERE, FANCY BOY!!  DON’T GO THROWING ALL THOSE FRENCH WORDS AT US!  WHAT’S THIS BRAISED THING??

It’s just a cooking techn…

IS THAT FRENCH FOR POOP??  YOU’RE COOKING POOP AGAIN!!!

Good lord, there is no poop involved!

Braising is just cooking meat in liquid that only partially covers it.

OH!  SO LIKE BUGS BUNNY IN THE HOT TUB??

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Ummm…sure, exactly.

You usually do this with big fatty hunks of beef – and we will do that at some point, because it is fucking amazing.  And while fish doesn’t have the same amount of fat in it, braising it is still…

This is not a long braise, like you would do with a brisket, so you do need to stay on top of it and not stray too far.  I cooked it with cod fillets, but you could do it with salmon, or any other firm fleshed fish.

Also, the recipe calls for you to strain the braising liquid.  The dish will not be ruined if you decide not to – I didn’t because I am lazy, and it tasted perfectly good, and the vegetables don’t get cooked enough to get seriously mushy.

 

Fish Fillets Braised in Red Wine, Bacon, and Mushrooms

Serves 4

 

From All About Braising

Ingredients

 

4 fish fillets, about 1-1 1/2 inches thick

1/4 pound mushrooms, any variety, stemmed and coarsely chopped

5 slices thick-cut bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces

1 leek, washed and finely diced

1 carrot, peeled and finely diced

1 shallot, peeled and finely diced

2 cups red wine

3 sprigs thyme

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

Directions

 

Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees F.

Add half the bacon to a large cold sauté pan.  Turn the heat to medium, and cook until the bacon has rendered most of its fat and is just starting to brown, about 8-10 minutes.  Add the leek, carrot, and shallot to the pan.  Season with salt and pepper, and sauté, stirring regularly, until the vegetables begin to brown, about 8 minutes.  Add 1 cup of the wine and the thyme sprigs.  Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook until the wine has reduced by half, about 10 minutes.  Add the remaining wine and simmer for another 5 minutes.

While the mixture is simmering, cook the remaining bacon in a separate skillet over medium high heat, until crisp.  Remove the bacon and place on paper towels to drain fat.  Add 1 tablespoon of butter to the skillet , then add the mushrooms, and season with salt and pepper.  Cook the mushrooms until browned, then remove to a separate plate.

When the braising liquid is ready, slide the fish fillets into the pan.  Cover the pan and place it in the oven until the fish is cooked, about 15-18 minutes.  Remove the pan from the oven and remove the fish to a separate plate.

Strain the braising liquid into the skillet, pushing on the vegetables to get everything out of them.  Bring the liquid to a fast simmer over high heat, then bring it back down to a gentle simmer.  Add the remaining butter and parsley, and season with salt and pepper as needed.  Add the bacon and mushrooms to the mixture.

Plate the fish fillets, and serve with the braising liquid on top.

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