Cider-roasted sea bream

A simple lot of six ingredients is all Mark Sargeant needs for an impressive fish supper
By Mark Sargeant
Cider-roasted sea bream
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 2 x 600-700g whole sea bream, scaled and gutted
  • 2 whole fennel, fronds separated, bulb thinly sliced
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 10 slices pancetta
  • 2 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 bottle cider


1. Preheat the oven to 230C/210C fan/gas 7.

2. Score the fish with several deep, diagonal cuts, then place the fennel fronds and a handful of the lemon slices inside the cavities. Season the fish inside and out.

3. Lay out five of the pancetta slices on a board, place one sea bream on top, then draw the edges of the pancetta over to wrap the fish completely. Repeat with the remaining pancetta and fish.

4. Place the sliced fennel bulb, sliced garlic and remaining lemon slices in the bottom of a casserole dish and balance the fish on top. Pour in enough cider to cover the fennel and lemon, but not the fish, and roast in the oven for about 15 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through and coming away easily from the bone.

5. Serve the fish whole in the middle of the table in the casserole dish.

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