Fish in cider

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This is a French dish, well probably Breton really.

Fish is well known to be good brain food and cider is a disinhibitor, so it can be part of a very long slow meal with lots of conversation. Place one bowl in the middle of the table for people to deposit their fish bones, eyes and other bits they might not want to eat.


The main principle is to steam or simmer the whole fish in an oval cooking pot, submersed in cider. Then make a sauce with the liquid.

  • Fresh whole sea fish. This could be a bass or large mackerel, or milkfish, or tilapia.
  • Enough dry cider to cover the fish (about 1 bottle )
  • 1 large Bramley Apple,
  • Black Pepper
  • chopped peppers, celery and onions.
  • fresh green herbs - fennel, dill, tarragon or coriander

Wipe the fish and make 3 diagonal cuts. Put it in the oval cooking pot with the cider and a little pepper and leave for a couple of hours. Turn the fish. Set the oven to medium hot (gas 4). Peel, core and chop the apples into chunks. Push some of them into the middle of the fish and place the rest around. Cover the pot and put it in the oven for, say 15 mins. Remove the cover and cook for another 15 mins. Turn off the oven. Lift the fish out onto a warm plate, wrap in foil and put it in the oven to keep warm. Boil the liquor vigorously on the hob, adding some fresh chopped vegetables, then finally the fresh herbs. Serve the fish with the sauce and some rice or couscous.