Roasted Monkfish Tail with Beurre Rouge Sauce
Monkfish is abundant off the coast of New England and in season throughout the winter. The tails and cheeks of Monkfish are the portions that are typically filleted and consumed. For this recipe, we are focusing on the Monkfish's tail as it dense, savory, and perfect for pan roasting. Nicknamed, "The Poor Man's Lobster", monkfish is a great alternative and much more affordable than the ever-popular New England Lobster Tail.
In this recipe, we will be using minimal ingredients but making a very flavorful and sophisticated dish. This recipe was inspired by Chef Thomas Keller of the French Laundry in Yountville, California. He is America's most decorated chef and elevates the most classic dishes to superior levels. He started his career in Newport, Rhode Island after training in France and his love for seafood is present on each of his menus. For Chef Keller, seafood is his favorite food to prepare as he believes it is the most versatile when compared to similar protein (ie: chicken and beef), is visually appealing when plated, and unique in every cut.
To start, heat your oven to 350 degrees and salt your monkfish tail as you begin to prepare the Beurre Rouge. Beurre Rouge translates to Red Butter Sauce and pairs well with the density of the monkfish tail as it is deep in flavor and provides earthy aromas. Then, dice mushrooms, carrots, parsley, shallots and add in thyme, peppercorn, and a bay leaf once the red wine comes to a boil. For the red wine, we recommend using either a Cabernet Sauvignon or Pinot Noir. As the ingredients and red wine are boiling, begin the preparation of the monkfish by heating a pan (stainless steel or cast-iron) with vegetable oil. Once heated to a medium temperature, sear each side of the monkfish tail until browned while basting the top portion with the vegetable oil. Once seared, remove the vegetable oil from the pan and add in cubes of butter. Resume basting the monkfish tail with butter while adding garlic cloves and thyme springs on top of your filet. To finish preparing the monkfish tail, place it in your pre-heated 350 degree oven for 10-12 minutes.
As the monkfish is roasting in the oven, pour the Beurre Rouge through a fine mesh strainer so the herbs and vegetables are completely removed from the sauce. Once removed, pour the Beurre Rouge back into the sauce pan and reduce the wine to a syrup-like consistency. Once reduced, emulsify the red wine and butter. Begin by adding a few cubes of butter at a time and stir vigorously with a whisk. Frequently taste the Beurre Rouge to ensure it is to your liking and has a thick, syrup-like consistency when finished.
To plate, pour the Beurre Rouge onto your dish and add the Monkfish Tail on top with a sprig of thyme. For pairing, we recommend white asparagus as the color contrast goes aesthetically well with the Beurre Rouge. Bon appetite!
Source: Masterclass - Thomas Keller
- Prep Time: 15 mins
- Cook Time: 30 mins
- Total Time: 45 mins
- 1 lb Monkfish Tail
- 2 Garlic Cloves
- 2 Sprigs Thyme
- 4 Ounces Butter
- Vegetable Oil
- 500 ml Red Wine
- 3 Sprigs Thyme
- 3 Parsley Stems
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 6 Mushrooms (diced)
- ½ Shallot (diced)
- 1 Carrot (quartered)
- 8 Peppercorns
- 10 Tablespoons Unsalted Butter
- Salt the monkfish tail and pre-heat the oven to 350 degrees while. Bring the red wine in a saucepan to a boil.
- Dice the mushrooms, shallots, carrots, and parsley then add to the boiling red wine along with the thyme, bay leaf, and peppercorns. Boil for 20 minutes.
- Add vegetable oil to your pan (stainless steel or cast-iron) over medium-high heat. Once hot, sear each side of the monkfish tail while basting with the hot vegetable oil. Once each side has been seared, remove the vegetable oil and add in butter cubes, garlic cloves, and thyme sprigs. Begin basting the monkfish with the butter and ensure the garlic cloves and thyme sprigs are on top of the filet. Place the pan with the monkfish tail into your pre-heated oven and roast for 12-15 minutes.
- Once the red wine reduces, pour through a sieve into a saucepan to remove all the vegetables and herbs. Return the red wine in a saucepan to the stove over medium heat to continue the reduction to a syrup-like consistency. This will become apparent as the bubbles get larger as the red wine reduces.
- Once the red wine has reduced, add in butter cubes and stir vigorously with a whisk to emulsify the butter and wine. Constantly taste the Beurre Rouge to ensure the flavor profile is to your liking.
- Remove the monkfish tail from the oven after 12-15 minutes. The texture of monkfish tail should be dense resembling a lobster tail. Baste with the butter in the bottom of the pan and salt.
- To plate, cut your monkfish tail into portions for two. Pour the Beurre Rouge into the center of your plate and place the monkfish tail in the center with a thyme sprig on top. Bon Appetit!