Halibut with a herb crust, potato puree and chive veloute

Neven Maguires rich fish dish works just as well with other white fish like turbot, cod, brill and hake
By Neven Maguire
Halibut with a herb crust, potato puree and chive veloute
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 55 minutes
  • Prep Time: 35 minutes plus setting time
  • Effort: easy


  • 50 g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 15 g small handful fresh mixed herbs, such as basil, flat-leaf parsley and tarragon
  • 1 egg yolk, beaten
  • 4 x 175g halibut fillets
  • 4 small vines cherry tomatoes
  • olive oil, for cooking

For the veloute

  • 40 g butter
  • 1 shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp finely chopped leeks
  • 50 g trimmings white fish, such as turbot
  • 120 ml noilly prat or dry Martini
  • 120 ml double cream
  • 120 ml fish stock
  • pinches cayenne pepper
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 1 tbsp snipped chives

For the potato puree

  • 1 kg floury potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 85 g double cream
  • 85 g milk
  • 50 g butter


1. Place the breadcrumbs in a food processor and blend with the herbs until green and fragrant. Season the halibut fillets on both sides and arrange on a baking sheet lined with non-stick parchment paper. Brush over the egg yolk and then sprinkle over the herb breadcrumbs in a thin even layer, pressing them down lightly. Place in the fridge for at least 10 minutes to allow the crust to set or up to 4 hours is fine, loosely covered with cling film.

2. To make the veloute, melt the butter in a pan. Add the shallot and leek and cook for 2-3 minutes until softened but not coloured. Add the fish trimmings and cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring. Pour in the noilly prat or martini and reduce right down for about 5 minutes until almost all of the liquid has gone. Pour in the fish stock and reduce for about 3 minutes until reduced by half, then stir in the cream. Bring to the boil and simmer for another 3-4 minutes until you have achieved a nice sauce consistency. Season with salt and add the cayenne pepper to taste. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl and discard the fish trimmings. This can now be left to go cold and kept in the fridge covered with cling film until needed.

3. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4. To prepare the potatoes, place them in a pan and cover with cold water, then bring to the boil. Add a pinch of salt and simmer for 20-25 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Drain well and mash until smooth. Meanwhile, heat the cream, milk and butter together in a small pan. Gradually, beat into the mashed potatoes and season to taste. Keep warm.

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