10 mins (plus overnight refrigeration)
- 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
- 100ml merlot
- 8g sugar
- 1g xanthan gum (use very accurate scales)
- 2g salt
- 20 cockles, steamed and meat reserved
- Nasturtium leaves
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 10-12 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. Fillet the fish and leave to cool in the butter.
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. Refrigerate overnight.
Unmould the terrine and use an extremely sharp knife to cut into neat slices. To serve, place a slice in the centre of each plate and remove any cling film.
Whisk the sugar, xanthan and salt into the merlot until lightly thickened, then apply around the terrine in a nice red circle. Garnish with the cockle meat and nasturtium leaves.
Image: John Holdship
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