Rodaballo de Fiesta

A truly magnificent dish from Spain, Rodaballo de Fiesta (roh-dah-by-yoh dee fee-es-tah) is a decorative and colourful way of serving turbot.

2 medium-sized onions, stuck with

4 cloves

4 x {-inch thick slices topside of beef bouquet garni, consisting of

4 parsley sprigs,

1 thyme spray and

1 bay leaf tied together

4 slices streaky bacon

1 tablespoon flour

10 fl. oz. home-made beef stock 26 fl. oz. (1 bottle) sparkling white wine

2 lb. turbot steak, cleaned and left in one piece

1 oz. butter

2 tablespoons flour

10 fl. oz. fish stock

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoon black pepper

4 oz. canned crabmeat, shell and cartilage removed

2 tablespoons single cream

4 lemon slices, halved

Place the onions, beef slices, bouquet garni and bacon slices in a large saucepan. Set the pan over low heat and cook, stirring frequently, for 8 to 10 minutes or until the juices run out of the meat.

Using a slotted spoon, lift out the onions, beef and bacon. Discard the onions and bouquet garni and reserve the beef and bacon.

Remove the pan from the heat and, using a wooden spoon, stir the flour into the juices in the pan. Return the pan to the heat and cook, stirring constantly, for 1 minute. Remove the pan from the heat and gradually pour in the stock, stirring constantly. Stir in the wine. Return the pan to moderate heat, bring the liquid to the boil and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove the pan from the heat. Keep warm.

Place the reserved bacon slices over the fish and lay the reserved beef slices over the bacon. Tic them securely with trussing string. Put the fish in the pan with the liquid, increase the heat to moderately high and bring the liquid to the boil. Reduce the heat to very low, cover the pan and cook the fish for 30 minutes or until the flesh flakes easily when tested with a fork.

Meanwhile, make the sauce. In a small saucepan, melt the butter over moderate heat. Remove the pan from the heat and, with a wooden spoon, stir in the flour to make a smooth paste. Gradually add the fish stock and lemon juice, stirring constantly.

Return the pan to the heat and bring the sauce to the boil, stirring constantly.

Cook the sauce for 2 to 3 minutes or until it is thick and smooth. Reduce the heat to low, stir in the salt, pepper and crab-meat and continue cooking for 5 minutes. Stir in the cream and cook for a further 2 minutes. Remove the pan from the heat. Keep warm.

Remove the pan containing the fish from the heat and, using two large spoons, very carefully lift the fish on to a wooden board. Remove and discard the trussing string, bacon and beef slices.

Transfer the fish to a warmed serving plate and pour over the sauce. Garnish with the lemon slices and serve imme-diately.

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