Red mullet with crushed Jersey Royals

Serves 4

Nice buttery crushed Jersey royals make the perfect accompaniment to fish, and you can also flavour them with herbs like chives or fennel. I've used the bones here to make the sauce which ends up rather like a fish soup, as mullet bones have a really rich flavour which is an important factor when making a fish soup. You will only need the bones from one or two of the mullet here so I would freeze the rest and make a soup later.

4 red mullet weighing about 250-300g each, scaled, filleted and boned
A little vegetable oil for frying
300-400g Jersey Royals
60g butter
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the dressing

The bones from the mullet
1 medium shallot, peeled, halved and roughly chopped
10 fennel seeds
1 clove of garlic, peeled and crushed
A small sprig of thyme
2tsp tomato purée
100ml white wine
250ml fish stock
100ml olive oil

Chop the mullet bones and head, heat a little of the olive oil in a saucepan and fry the bones, shallot, fennel, garlic and thyme for a few minutes, stirring every so often. Add the tomato purée, wine and stock, bring to the boil and simmer gently for 40 minutes. Strain through a fine-meshed sieve into another saucepan and simmer until you only have a couple of tablespoons left.

Meanwhile, cook the Jersey Royals in their skins in boiling salted water for 10-12 minutes, then drain, leave to cool a little and scrape away the skins. Return to a pan and crush them with a fork, mix with the butter and season.

Heat a little more vegetable oil in a reliable frying pan or a non-stick one and cook the mullet fillets, skin side down first, for about 2-3 minutes on each side.

To serve, whisk the remaining olive oil into the reduced mullet stock and season. Re-heat the potatoes and spoon onto warmed serving plates, place two mullet fillets on top and spoon the sauce around.

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