Whole stuffed trout on braised cabbage

Whole trout stuffed with mushrooms, wrapped in bacon and served on a warming bed of winter veg make a superb supper from Paul Merrett
By Paul Merrett
Whole stuffed trout on braised cabbage
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 2
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy


For the trout

  • large knob of butter
  • 150 g oyster mushrooms, torn into thin strips
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 leaves Swiss chard or dark green cabbage, shredded
  • 20-4 sprigs tarragon
  • 2 medium trout, cleaned, gutted, back bone removed (you can ask your fishmonger to do this)
  • 10 very thin rashers streaky bacon

For the braised cabbage

  • 2 tbsp duck fat or olive oil
  • 4 rashers streaky bacon, cut into thin strips
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 1 carrot, diced
  • ¼ celeriac, diced
  • sprigs of thyme
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 star anise
  • 2 cloves
  • ½ heads Savoy cabbage, very finely shredded
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 500 ml hot chicken stock


1. For the trout: melt the butter in a frying pan over a medium-high heat and fry the mushrooms for 3-4 minutes, until golden-brown and softened. Add the garlic and chard and fry for a further 2 minutes. Set aside to cool.

2. Preheat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

3. For the braised cabbage: while the mushroom mixture is cooling, heat the duck fat in an ovenproof frying pan or casserole. Add the bacon and fry for 3-4 minutes or until golden-brown.

4. Stir in the onion and fry for 5 minutes, or until softened and golden-brown, then add the carrots and celeriac and fry for a further 5 minutes.

5. Stir in the thyme, garlic, star anise, cloves and the cabbage and fry for 2 minutes, then pour in the white wine and bubble for a minute. Pour in the chicken stock and transfer to the oven, uncovered, for about 10 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced slightly and the cabbage is soft.

6. While the cabbage is braising, finish the trout. Stuff the belly cavities of each fish with the cooled mushroom mixture and a sprig or 2 of tarragon. Wrap the bacon tightly around the fish to seal in the stuffing.

7. Heat a large ovenproof frying pan over a medium-high heat and lay the fish in the pan. Fry for 2-3 minutes, or until browned underneath, then carefully turn the fish over and transfer to the oven. Roast for 8-10 minutes, or until the flesh is firm and opaque.

8. Serve the trout on top of the braised cabbage.

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