Pan-fried Gurnard with clams in cider and wild boar pancetta

Pan-fried Gurnard with clams in cider and wild boar pancetta

Recipe by Roast Restaurant

When I started working at Roast, I began thinking about ways in which we could use our location in the Borough Market to offer something unique. I came up with the Market treasure hunt idea, which is where this dish was born. I put together a menu using ingredients available on the market, then split a group into 2 teams giving them each a budget and a shopping list to go and hunt for their lunch. When they return with the fruits of their labour, we prepare their meal before they sit down to a relaxing lunch by the window looking out over the market. It’s a fun day out for all!!!

Marcus Verberne

Serves 4


4 x 180g gurnard fillets from Furness Fish & Game, pin-boned (hake or cod make good alternatives)

20 clams

100g flour

30ml vegetable oil

100g thin slices of pancetta, roughly chopped

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

100ml good dry-medium cider from New Forest Cider

100g chilled butter

Sea salt and freshly milled pepper

Preparation Method

This dish should only take about 5 minutes to cook from start to finish, so you need to make sure you’re well organised with everything to hand.

Season and lightly flour the skin side of the gurnard fillets. Pre-heat a non-stick frying pan to a medium to hot temperature. Add the vegetable oil and place the gurnard fillets in, skin side down along with the pancetta. As the pancetta cooks, the tasty fat renders out giving the gurnard additional seasoning and flavour. When the skin of the fish is golden and crispy, turn the fillets over and add the clams. After about a minute, carefully remove the gurnard and set to one side.

Pour in the cider, cover the pan with a lid and turn up the heat to steam open the clams. Once the clams are open, add the butter stirring continuously to emulsify with the cider and clam juices into a glossy sauce.

Season the sauce to your preference. You won’t need much salt, if any, as the bacon and clams should contain enough.  Add the fish fillets carefully back into the pan so they are hot for serving.

One-pan cooking, like this, doesn’t just alleviate on washing up but the right combination of ingredients results in a well balanced amalgamation of flavours.


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