Brown Trout Fillets with Nage Butter Sauce

Nigel Smith's elegant recipe for poached trout makes a wonderfully light and sophisticated main course, ideal for dinner parties
Brown Trout Fillets with Nage Butter Sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 1-2
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Prep Time: 40 minutes
  • Effort: medium



  • 2 brown trout fillets (each approx 200g), skin on
  • 10 small new potatoes, cooked until just tender, then peeled
  • 5 tips of asparagus
  • 75 g butter
  • 170 g spinach leaves
  • 2 tbsp finely chopped chives
  • 2 tbsp plum or beef tomatoes, skinned, seeded and finely diced

For the Poaching liquid:

  • 6 large carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 2 bulb fennel, roughly chopped
  • head celery, roughly chopped
  • 6 star anise
  • 4 large beef or plum tomatoes
  • 2 onions, peeled and quartered
  • 2 leeks, roughly chopped
  • 350 ml white wine
  • 150 ml double cream
  • 225 g butter, diced


1. First prepare the poaching liquid. Place the vegetables and the star anise in a large saucepan and just cover with water.

2. Bring to the boil and add the white wine. Return to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes.

3. Remove from the heat and allow to cool. Pour the vegetable stock through a fine sieve, discarding the vegetables and star anise.

4. Pour half the vegetable stock into a poaching pan or large, deep frying pan and bring to the boil. Add the trout fillets and poach for 3-4 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, bring the remaining vegetable stock to the boil. Mix in the double cream and whisk in the diced butter a little at a time.

6. Once the butter has emulsified, set the cream sauce to one side and keep warm.

7. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil. Add the cooked new potatoes, re-heating them for 2-3 minutes and then add the asparagus and cook for a further 2 minutes. Drain.

8. Heat 55g of butter in a medium, heavy-based frying pan Add the spinach leaves and allow to wilt for 2-3 minutes. Remove and keep warm.

9. Return the pan to the heat and add 25g of butter. Once melted add the reheated new potatoes and asparagus, coating them in the butter. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

10. Carefully remove the poached trout fillets, draining well.

11. Mix the chives and diced tomato to the cream sauce. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper.

12. To serve, place the wilted spinach on the centre of a warm serving plate with the trout fillets on top. Dot around with asparagus and new potatoes and drizzle with the cream sauce.

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