Roast gurnard with coriander mash

Richard Corrigan roasts a whole fish in a lovely rich, reddish-orange bisque-like sauce and serves it with a light carrot, parsnip and coriander mash.
Roast gurnard with coriander mash
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 30 minutes plus marinating time
  • Effort: medium


  • 4 whole gurnard, gutted, plus 4 extra heads from your fishmonger (or heads removed and reserved)
  • olive oil, for frying
  • few sprigs thyme
  • 4 slices lemons


  • 6 cloves garlic, sliced
  • 2 star anise
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 1 heads fennel, roughly chopped
  • 500 g plum tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 tbsp Pernod
  • 125 ml white wine
  • 1 generous pinches saffron
  • 1 tsp sugar

Coriander mash

  • 4 carrots, chopped
  • 4 parsnips, chopped
  • 1 generous knob butter
  • 1 tbsp chopped coriander

To serve

  • wild fennel, or other greens, steamed


1. For the marinade: put all the marinade ingredients into a bowl, add the fish heads and set aside for a minimum of 1 hour.

2. Remove the fish heads from their marinade and sear them in a frying pan with a little olive oil until nicely browned.

3. Pour the marinade into another pan, bring to the boil, add the fish heads and cook for a further 15 minutes. Push through a sieve, pressing down with a ladle. Taste, season as necessary and reserve.

4. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Put a little olive oil in a large roasting pan into the oven to heat.

5. For the coriander mash: bring a pan of salted water to the boil and put in the carrots and parsnips. Cook until tender. Crush with the back of a fork or a masher, add the butter and coriander and season to taste. Cover and keep warm while cooking the fish.

6. Stuff the fish cavities with thyme sprigs and lemon slices. Tie with a little string and season well.

7. Brown the fish on both sides in a large frying pan and transfer to the oven for 1012 minutes until just cooked through.

8. Serve with the sauce and coriander mash, and some steamed wild fennel or other greens if desired.

This main is part of Richard Corrigans dinner party menu. Why not try his starter of Scallops with clementine, ham and almond salad or his Spice cakes with walnuts and figs dessert?

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