Brown butter-baked haddock with braised fennel, fennel velouté and brown shrimp


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  • 600g of haddock, skinned and cut into 4 equal portions
  • 150g of unsalted butter, diced
  • 20ml of sherry vinegar
  • sea salt

Braised fennel

Fennel velouté

Begin by making the velouté. Heat the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat, then add the fennel, star anise and fennel seeds. Cook for 5 minutes until soft but without colour
Add the fish stock and reduce by a third, then add the cream and bring to a simmer. Cook for 20 minutes, by which point the fennel should be completely soft
  • 150ml of fish stock
  • 200ml of double cream
While the velouté is simmering, make the brown butter for the haddock. Place a high-sided saucepan over a medium-high heat. Add the butter and cook until it turns a nutty brown colour (about 5 minutes). Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly, then carefully add the sherry vinegar (the mixture may splutter). Pour into a bowl and allow to cool, stirring occasionally
  • 150g of unsalted butter, diced
  • 20ml of sherry vinegar
Once the velouté has been cooking for 20 minutes, use a hand blender to blitz the mixture into a smooth sauce. Pass through a fine sieve into a clean pan, finish with a splash of Pernod and season to taste with salt and lemon juice. Set aside to reheat before serving
Preheat an oven to 170°C/gas mark 3
For the braised fennel, halve the fennel bulbs through their cores and remove and discoloured outer layers. Finely slice from top to bottom (reserving the tops if using instead of dill)
Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium-high heat, then add the fennel seeds and toast for 20 seconds (do not allow to burn). Add the sliced fennel and cook for 2–3 minutes stirring regularly, then season with salt. Add the fish stock and allow to boil until the fennel is tender and the stock has all evaporated
  • 1 tbsp of light olive oil
  • 1 tsp fennel seeds
  • 200ml of fish stock
Meanwhile, season and brush the haddock with the cooled sherry and brown butter mixture. Place on a baking tray lined with baking paper, then cook in the oven for 8–15 minutes (depending on thickness). The haddock is ready when a cocktail stick pushes easily through the flesh
To serve, gently reheat the velouté and stir in half of the brown shrimp. Finish the braised fennel with a little lemon juice, salt and some of the fennel tops (or dill). Pour the velouté into the base of 4 bowls, then top with a tangle of the braised fennel. Top with the haddock, sprinkle the remaining brown shrimp over the velouté and finish with the remaining fennel tops (or dill)
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