Pan Fried Turbot with Oxtail and Mussels

Bryn Williams creates his signature dish with complementary flavours of rich meaty beef and light fresh tastes of the sea
By Bryn Williams
Pan Fried Turbot with Oxtail and Mussels
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes plus marinating overnight
  • Effort: hard


For the oxtail

  • 1 kg Welsh Black beef oxtail, cut into pieces
  • 1 litres red wine
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 large carrot, chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • vegetable oil
  • seasoned flour, for dusting
  • 2 litres chicken stock
  • 1 litres veal or chicken stock

For the cockles

  • 400 g cockles, cleaned and opened shells discarded
  • 125 ml white wine
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tbsp crème fraîche

For the turbot

  • olive oil
  • 350 g sea beet or Swiss chard, stalks removed
  • freshly grated nutmeg
  • lemon juice, to taste
  • 4 x 120 g turbot fillets, skinned
  • Knob of butter


1. For the oxtail: put the oxtail in a bowl with the red wine, onions, carrots and bay leaf. Cover and leave to marinate in a cool place for 24 hours.

2. The next day, strain off the red wine from the oxtail and vegetables and put in a saucepan. Bring to the boil, skimming off any scum that rises to the surface.

3. Meanwhile, heat a little vegetable oil in a heavy-bottomed ovenproof pan over a medium heat. Dust the oxtail in seasoned flour, then add to the pan and colour until golden brown on all sides. Remove from the pan and set aside.

4. Preheat the oven to 140C/gas 1.

5. Add the marinated vegetables to the pan and cook until golden brown. Add the hot red wine and cook until the liquid is reduced by half.

6. Return the oxtail to the pan. Cover with chicken and veal stocks and bring to the boil. Skim, cover the pan with a lid and put in the oven to cook for 2½ hours.

7. Remove from the oven and leave to cool. When cooled, remove the oxtail and pick the meat from the bones, keeping the meat in large pieces; discard the bones.

8. Strain the cooking liquid into a saucepan and boil until reduced by half. Take off the heat and return the meat to the sauce. Keep warm until ready to serve.

9. For the cockles: put the cockles them in a warm pan with the white wine and bay leaf, cover with a lid and cook on a high heat for 1-2 minutes or until the shells have opened. Drain the cockles in a colander set in a bowl. Discard any cockles whose shells haven't opened. Pick the cockles from their shells (leaving a few in their shells for presentation).

10. Before serving, bring the cockle liquid to the boil and whisk in the crème fraîche.

11. For the turbot: warm a little olive oil in a deep pan and add the sea beet. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper, nutmeg and a squeeze of lemon juice. Cook for about 30 seconds to wilt, then remove from the heat.

12. Heat a little olive oil in a warm non-stick frying pan. When hot, add the turbot fillets and cook until the underside is brown, then carefully turn the turbot pieces over and lower the heat; cook for a further two minutes. Add a knob of butter to finish.

13. To serve, put the wilted sea beet on each warm plate and arrange the cockles and oxtail around the sea beet. Drizzle with the oxtail sauce. Lay the turbot on the sea beet and pour over the cockle sauce.

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