‘Tis the Season for Whole-Roasted Monkfish
December 16, 2013
I know it's the time of year for roast beast. But you know me: I'd rather roast a fish.
Right now, we've got a bone-in loin of monkfish on the menu at Mac's Provincetown that I'm planning to make the centerpiece of our family's Christmas feast.
I figure it's as meaty and elegant as any roast could be. And if you add a little crème fraîche to the pan juices, you end up with a killer gravy for spooning over mashed potatoes––guaranteed to satisfy the folks who are fixated on tradition.
One more reason to try this at home: the monkfish comes to us from local Cape Cod fishermen. Yes, they are out there in this cold. And they're bringing in some beautiful fish. What could be more right for this season of celebration?
We nearly always display fillets in our markets, but ask for monkfish on the bone for this recipe. If we haven't already cut all our fillets for the day we'll have it for you on the spot. Give us a day's notice and we can be sure to set aside some nice thick bone-in pieces for you.
(If you still can't imagine the holidays without a more traditional roast, you might need to visit the meat counter at our market in Provincetown. The rib eye is excellent––none of those unnecessary antibiotics or growth hormones here. We regularly offer it filleted, but if you want it on the bone for a standing rib roast, give us a call: we can reel in a special order for you.)
Remember to allow for weightier portions than usual for this dish, since you're roasting the fish on the bone. At the restaurant, we serve our roasted monkfish over a bed of mashed potatoes, livened up with a few leaves of wilted fresh spinach––they're great sides with this pan gravy.
3 lbs. monkfish, cut crosswise into four bone-in portions
1 1/2 cups good, dry white wine
one cup crème fraîche (heavy cream will work, its just not as complex and tangy)
a generous squeeze of fresh lemon juice
2 cloves garlic, sliced (even better: a spoonful of roasted garlic, if you have that on hand)
one shallot, peeled and sliced thin
2 tablespoons minced herbs (I like to combine fresh sage and thyme)
about a cup of flour for lightly dredging the fish
grapeseed oil for searing
salt and pepper to taste
Heat the oven to 450 F.
Trim the fish: the membrane that surrounds monkfish can be a little slippery to deal with, but use a sharp knife and slice it off as best you can. Then cut the fish crosswise into evenly proportioned bone-in "roasts." It's OK if they don't look perfect: the sear and the sauce will put them right.
Put the flour on a plate. When you're ready to cook, season the fish pieces well with plenty of salt and pepper, then dredge them to coat lightly with flour.
Heat an oven-proof skillet. Coat the bottom of it with a generous drizzle of oil and get it nice and hot. I recommend grapeseed oil because it has a clean, neutral flavor and a high smoke point, meaning it can handle the hot oven roasting you're about to do. My brother Alex uses duck fat in situations like this––to each his own.
Sear the fish on all sides. Don't try to turn the pieces too soon: give them a few minutes and let them take on a nice golden-brown color.
Move the pan to the hot oven and roast the fish to finish it. Thick, bone-in slabs like this need a good 15 minutes to cook through. Then take the pan out of the oven and remove the fish to a warm plate. Float a piece of foil on top to help keep them warm.
Put the pan back on the stove (watch that oven-hot handle!) and add tiny bit more fat to the pan––just enough to allow you to sauté the sliced shallots for a minute (and the garlic if you are not using roasted garlic). Stir in the herbs and the roasted garlic.
Deglaze the pan with the white wine; stir and simmer until the wine reduces by about half and picks up all the pan juices. Finally, stir in the crème fraîche and simmer the sauce a bit more 'til it's bubbling hot and slightly thickened.
Taste the sauce and ramp up the salt and pepper if need be. Finish it with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice. Plate the fish and sauce it. I like to use deep plates that will hold generous spoonfuls of sauce.
- March 08, 2019
A Taste of South Africa Wine Dinner March 13
- February 14, 2019
A Taste of Italy Wine Dinner Feb 27
- January 28, 2019
A Taste of Mexico Wine Dinner Feb 6
- January 10, 2019
A Taste of France Wine Dinner Jan 16
- December 18, 2018
New Year’s Eve at Mac’s
- August 22, 2018
Book your next event at Mac’s Fish House in Provincetown
- May 29, 2018
Wellfleet Restaurant Week at Mac’s Shack
- January 10, 2018
Mac’s Winter to Spring Wine Dinners
- January 03, 2017
Mac’s Fish House Provincetown Winter to Spring Dinner Series
- September 19, 2016
New Year’s Eve Dinner & Live Music at Mac’s Fish House Provincetown
- June 28, 2016
Story of a Fishing Family
- January 04, 2016
All You Can Eat Fish & Chips $15 Every Thurs at Mac’s
- December 16, 2015
New Year’s Eve Menu + Other Holiday Happenings at Mac’s
- November 06, 2015
Get Your Thanksgiving To Go at Mac’s
- October 23, 2015
Support our local Fishermen at the Dish On Fish Benefit - Mac’s Ptown - Nov 4
- October 19, 2015
Devil’s Purse Beer Dinner Oct 21 at Mac’s Ptown - RESERVE TODAY!
- September 29, 2015
Wine & Swine Dinner Oct 7 in Ptown - Reserve today!
- September 23, 2015
Fall Dinner Series at Mac’s Fish House Provincetown - RESERVE TODAY!
- July 17, 2015
Introducing our Small Batch Label - a new way to try a little taste of Mac’s
- June 25, 2015
Happy 4th! Free Shipping on Online Orders Over $100
- March 27, 2015
- February 05, 2015
Sweet Specials for Valentine’s Day
- December 19, 2014
Mac’s Provincetown New Year’s Eve Tasting Menu
- November 22, 2014
Smokin’ Good Oyster Sausage Stuffing
- November 04, 2014
Taking Orders Now! THANKSGIVING TO GO at Mac’s Markets
- October 16, 2014
OysterFest Weekend at the Shack
- October 06, 2014
It’s Time for Oysters
- September 29, 2014
Mac’s On the Pier Open Thru Oct 5
- October 09, 2018
Wine Dinner Series at Mac’s Fish House
- December 16, 2013
‘Tis the Season for Whole-Roasted Monkfish
- October 02, 2013
- July 02, 2013
- June 14, 2013
Alex’s Dogfish Sandwich
- April 12, 2013
Salmon for Between the Seasons
- February 12, 2013
Won’t You Be Mine?
- January 08, 2013
My Holiday Hangover Cure: Flounder
- December 06, 2012
The Perfect Sear
- November 23, 2012
The Once and Future Cod
- October 18, 2012
In the Kitchen with a Dream Machine
- August 23, 2012
The Perfect Fried Clam