Roast fillet of sea bass with braised shellfish and saffron sauce

Roast fillet of sea bass with braised shellfish and saffron sauce

Looking to impress? Serve your sea bass like they do at Mayfair's Mount St restaurant – with a saffron-laced sauce, cucumber, fennel, potatoes and shellfish
  • Preparation:
  • Cooking:
  • Total:
  • Serves: 4 persons



  1. Step 1

    Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a wide, deep pan over a medium heat and sear the rock fish for 4-5 mins or until golden. Remove to a plate. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, star anise, coriander seeds and saffron to the same pan and fry for 2 mins. Add the tomato purée and cook for 2 mins. Pour in the wine, bring to the boil, then lower the heat to a simmer and cook for 3-4 mins or until reduced by half. Return the fish to the pan along with the stock, passata and tomatoes. Simmer over a low heat for 1 hr. Remove the star anise and as many fish bones as possible, then transfer to a blender and blitz until as smooth as possible. Pass through a sieve and discard any pulp. Season to taste, then cover and set aside.
  2. Step 2

    Cook the potatoes and fennel in a large pan of boiling salted water for 1½-2 mins or until just tender. Drain and tip into a bowl of iced water. Once cool, drain and put in a bowl with the cucumber.
  3. Step 3

    Heat 1 tbsp of oil in a wide, lidded frying pan over a low heat and fry the shallots for 2-3 mins or until just soft. Add the parsley stalks and all the cleaned shellfish. Cover and cook for 1-2 mins, shaking the pan often until the shellfish has opened. Remove any unopened shells. Drain the shellfish, reserving the cooking liquid, and cool. Once cooled, pick the fish from the shells.
  4. Step 4

    Season the seabass. Heat 1 tsp of oil in a non-stick frying pan over a medium-high heat and cook the seabass skin-side down, pressing down with a fish slice for 2-3 mins until crisp and golden. Flip and cook for 1-2 mins more until just cooked through.
  5. Step 5

    Tip the sauce, potato, fennel, cucumber, shellfish and a splash of reserved shellfish stock into a pan over a low-medium heat. Cook for 3-4 mins until warmed. If the sauce seems too thick, add a splash more of the stock. Chop the parsley leaves and stir through the sauce with a squeeze of lemon juice. Ladle the sauce into shallow bowls and top with the seabass and herb oil, if using.