Sea bream in a salt crust
1kg/21⁄4lb whole sea bream
1 shallot, sliced thinly
1 sprig of fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 sprig of fresh tarragon
2 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
2.5kg/51⁄2lb coarse sea salt
lemon wedges, to garnish
For the sauce
2 shallots, very finely chopped
4 tablespoons freshly squeezed
300g/11oz butter, diced
salt and freshly ground black pepper
• Preheat the oven to 220°C/425°F/Gas mark 7.
• Wash the sea bream under cold running water, and pat dry with kitchen
• Stuff the body cavity with the shallot, parsley, tarragon and garlic.
• Sprinkle a thick layer of the salt into the bottom of a roasting tin large
enough to hold the fish with lots of space around it. Top with the fish,
then pour the remaining salt over the fish to completely cover it. Sprinkle
water lightly over the salt. Bake in the oven for about 25 minutes.
• To make the sauce, put the shallots and lemon juice in a saucepan, and
simmer gently over a low heat for 5 minutes. Increase the heat until the
lemon juice is reduced by half. Reduce the heat and add the butter,
piece by piece, whisking constantly, until all the butter is incorporated
and the sauce is thick. Season with salt and pepper, and keep warm.
• Remove the fish from the oven and leave to stand for 5 minutes before
cracking open the salt. Remove the fish, garnish with lemon wedges and
serve hot with the sauce.
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