Simon originally used skate in this recipe, but now that we chefs are encouraged to find more sustainable alternatives, I've taken the liberty of changing the title; and ray is very similar. I've tried to choose recipes that Hoppy hasn't lifted from other cookery writers so that you can get a feel for what his cooking is about. All chefs nick each other's ideas, so it can be hard to know where certain ideas originated. But it's all about believing in the ingredients you're cooking with and have cooked with for years, and as Simon says in this case, he believes in the combination of ray and red wine. Those fish lovers out there who believe that the only match for fish is white wine might be surprised to learn that meaty textured fish can withstand a good light red wine. I think it's time to counter that old-fashioned wine snobbery so that the public can experience interesting and different combinations of flavours.
1 ray wing weighing 250-300g
Salt and pepper
2-3 medium-sized potatoes (red-skinned if possible), steamed or boiled and then peeled
A little olive oil
Spring onions or snipped chives
For the vinaigrette
200ml red wine
1tbsp red wine vinegar
1 small shallot, peeled and finely chopped
1 small bay leaf
Pinch of sugar
Salt and pepper
50-75ml olive oil
A squeeze of lemon juice
Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Add salt and a splash of any old vinegar. Slip the wing into the water, bring back to a bare simmer, cover and then switch off the heat. Leave to finish cooking on the hot water. Thickly slice the cooked potatoes and fry ever so gently in a frying pan using a little olive oil, turning them occasionally until lightly gilded on each side.
Meanwhile, make the vinaigrette. Put the red wine and vinegar into a small, stainless-steel saucepan together with the shallot, bay leaf and sugar. Bring up to a simmer and allow to reduce by about three quarters. Allow to cool in the pan, season and then whisk in the olive oil as if making a normal vinaigrette. Add lemon juice to taste, then strain the result into a small bowl.
To serve, arrange the potatoes on to two hot plates. Lift the fish from its cooking liquor, ease off the flesh from the cartilage in thick strips and lay on to the potatoes. Spoon the vinaigrette over each serving and scatter with the spring onions or chives. Delicious eaten with a large dollop of garlic mayonnaise (aioli). Perfect as a simple supper or light lunch.Reuse content