Monday, January 9, 2017

Halibut Poached in Bacon Broth

So I have to say that I love love love seafood.  I have ever since I was a kid, when we would go to a local seafood restaurant called Seven Seas that was all decorated up so that it seemed you were dining 'under the sea.'  (you know, paper Mâché cave walls with fake crabs, lobsters, starfish, treasure chests and even mermaids and King Neptune decorating the place)  Why don't they have restaurants like that any more?

Oh well, despite my love of seafood as a kid, I didn't discover halibut until I was an adult.  And I have to say, it has become one of my favorite fruits of the sea.  It's startlingly full flavored for a whitefish, which are usually sort of bland.  (I'm looking at you, Cod)  No, halibut is meaty and buttery and savory and practically melts in your mouth.  That is to say, it doesn't need much adornment.  I usually just grill it and serve with a little lemon/butter/caper sauce and that's that.

But, my wife got me a new cookbook for Christmas--a bacon cookbook of all things.  In it was this little recipe, which I've modified slightly, but I can affirm that bacon and halibut were truly a match made in heaven, or perhaps 'under the sea.'


8 strips bacon
3 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup white wine
1 onion
3 carrots
2 celery stalks
4 cloves garlic
2 sprigs fresh dill
10 black peppercorns
4 halibut fillets

Fry four of the strips of the bacon until crisp.


Quarter and peel your onion

And brown it in the bacon grease with the chopped carrots and celery

Add white wine and deglaze pan.

Get yourself a handful of peppercorns, no more than 10-12.

Add peppercorns and fresh fill

Enjoy that fresh dill aroma that wafts up from the pan.

Add chicken broth

With the flat of a kitchen knife, crush your garlic cloves and peel.

Add peeled garlic cloves to stock.

Add four uncooked strips of the bacon along with the crumbles from two of the cooked bacon strips.  (reserve the other two for garnish)

Brintg to a boil and then reduce to a gentle simmer for 1 hour, covered.

Strain broth into a container and discard solids.  You should have about a two cups of broth.

Note the fat that has separated and is floating on the top of the broth.  You can skim this off for a leaner dish.  Also, if you make the broth early enough, refrigerate it for an hour and the fat will solidify and be easier to remove.

Add skimmed bacon broth back to skillet

Heat it to a gentle simmer.  Enjoy aroma--this stuff is fantastic--I hope you've tasted it by now, because it is wonderful, bacon-y and savory and so on and so on, with a rich brown color.  

Poach Halibut fillets in broth until done

I use a food thermometer and cook them to just to 145 degrees F.  By this time the fillets will have absorbed some of the broth as you can see here:

Serve with some of the thickened broth as a sauce.  You can thicken it with a little cornstarch or just reduce the sauce over high heat.

Until next time,

See you 'Under the Sea,'