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Roasted Monkfish Tail with Stuffing

Here is a great recipe with robust flavours for this splendid fish which is caught in abundance around Shetland. Monkfish is a high-value fish and is landed throughout the year. It is prized for the firmness of its flesh and its ability to absorb strong flavours. The addition of anchovy and the moist stuffing makes this a real centrepiece dish for a special occasion. Thank you to Ivy and Magnus for helping with this terrific recipe.

Serves 4


1 monkfish tail – approx 750g 2 tablespoons oil
2 medium-sized onions – finely chopped
1 big clove garlic – crushed and finely chopped
2 slices bread (approximately 50g) – slightly stale and made into breadcrumbs (Waas Bakery taatie bread would be ideal)
1 handful fresh parsley – roughly chopped
Grated rind and juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon capers – chopped roughly
4 anchovy fillets Freshly ground pepper
Salt to taste (remember the anchovies are salty)


Prepare the fish: rub all over with a dribble of oil and season with salt and pepper.
Light the oven to 200˚C
Make the stuffing: soften the onion and garlic in the oil over low heat; this will take a good 15 minutes.

Add the breadcrumbs, lemon rind, capers and pepper. Mix well and set aside. Add lemon juice.
Put the monk tail on to a baking sheet and cut 4 deep slashes, but don’t go right through.
Push an anchovy fillet deep inside each one and then add the stuffing. This job is best done with clean hands.

Put small pieces of butter down the length of the fish and top with the tomatoes.

Roast the fish on the top shelf for a good 15 minutes. Reduce the heat to 150oC for a further 5 minutes then remove from the oven and cover with a sheet of greaseproof paper. Leave for at least 15 minutes, during which time the heat will continue to cook the fish slowly.
Serve with boiled or steamed taaties and a seasonal green vegetable.

Monkfish vary in size and thickness so these timings may need to be adjusted. However, a blast at high heat followed by a period of resting should produce a succulent and flavoursome dish.

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