Leek & dover sole terrine, red wine lees

by Luke Robinson

A white fish and leek terrine with a vibrant red wine sauce

This is a skit on Marco Pierre White’s leek and langoustine terrine; I think the dover sole, with its firm texture, lends itself perfectly to this method. I poach the sole in beurre noisette which gives a fantastic luxury to the dish and the sauce, which resembles the thick lees from the bottom of red wine production, just pulls everything together with its vibrant red colour and tannic qualities. 


28 thumb sized young leeks, as fresh as possible, roots and greens trimmed and washed
1kg salted butter
2 sprigs of thyme
2 whole dover sole, 600g each, head off, skinned and trimmed
2 terrine moulds, 1.3 litre capacity
300ml merlot
10g sugar
1g xanthan gum (use very accurate scales)
2g salt
20 cockles, steamed and meat reserved
Nasturtium leaves

For the vinaigrette:
40ml good quality white wine vinegar
125ml olive oil
Salt & pepper


In a large saucepan of water seasoned with salt, boil the leeks until completely cooked. Drain through a colander and allow to cool.

Bring the butter to the boil in a high sided frying pan large enough to hold two fish. Once nutty and brown, carefully add a glass of water and the thyme before gently poaching the fish, topping up with a little water when necessary to stop the butter burning.

Poach the fish for 8-10 mins or until cooked—you can check by inserting a cocktail stick into the flesh; if there’s any resistance, it’s not quite done. Leave to cool in the butter sauce before removing the fillets and checking for any small bones.

Line a terrine mould with cling film, allowing a generous amount to hang over the sides.

Ensure the leeks and fillets are free of excess moisture then tightly pack them into the terrine, seasoning as you go, ensuring the sole is encased by the leeks.

Cover very tightly with the overhanging cling film. Prick the top to make small holes to allow any excess liquid to escape.

Place the other terrine mould upside down on a metal tray. Turn the filled terrine upside down and place it on top of the empty mould. Put another tray on top and weight it down firmly with something heavy. Leave to refrigerate overnight.

Remove the terrine from the mould and use an extremely sharp knife to cut it into neat slices. Whisk the vinaigrette ingredients together.

Reduce the merlot by two thirds, then set aside to cool completely.

To serve, place a slice of terrine in the centre of each plate and remove any cling film. Dress the top with a little vinaigrette and some salt. Whisk the sugar, xanthan and salt into the merlot reduction, then apply around the terrine in a nice red circle.

Garnish with the cockle meat, nasturtium leaves and any small leftover pieces of sole, fried until cooked through.