Grilled plaice with béarnaise sauce

Stuart Gillies pairs a wonderfully rich tarragon-flavoured butter and egg sauce with perfectly grilled fish and a simple salad
By Stuart Gillies
Grilled plaice with béarnaise sauce
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the béarnaise reduction

  • 150 ml white wine vinegar
  • 150 ml red wine vinegar
  • 50 ml white wine
  • 1 bananna shallot, finely chopped
  • pinch black pepper
  • ½ handful tarragon, finely chopped

For the béarnaise sauce

  • 4 egg yolks
  • ½ handful tarragon, finely chopped

For the plaice

  • 1 whole plaice, cut in half lengthways, to form 2 large steaks (bones-in, skin-on)
  • drizzle olive oil

For the salad

  • splash red wine vinegar
  • drizzle olive oil
  • large handful mixed leaves


1. For the béarnaise reduction: put all of the reduction ingredients into a small saucepan and bring to a boil over a high heat.

2. Boil the reduction for 10 minutes, or until reduced by two-thirds. Remove from the heat.

3. For the béarnaise sauce: sit a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of barely simmering water (make sure the bowl does not come into contact with the water or the heat will be too fierce). Add the egg yolks to the bowl and whisk vigorously until light and fluffy and doubled in volume.

4. Whisk in 3 tablespoons of the béarnaise reduction then slowly pour in the hot melted butter, whisking continuously until thick and smooth.

5. Whisk in 2 more tablespoons of the reduction, season with salt and stir in the chopped tarragon.

6. For the plaice: rub the olive oil into the skin of the fish and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

7. Heat a griddle pan or heavy-based frying pan over a medium heat and cook the plaice for 3-4 minutes on each side, depending on the thickness, or until just cooked through.

8. For the salad: drizzle a little red wine vinegar and olive oil over the salad leaves and season with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper. Toss to combine.

9. To serve, transfer the grilled fish to serving plates and serve with the salad and béarnaise sauce on the side.

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