Zander Cooked In Pinot Noir

Zander cooked in Pinot Noir

Serves 4

This recipe was inspired by one we found in Rick Stein's book, French Odyssey. He got it from a French Food Magazine, Saveur. They got it from Le Cerf, a small hotel/restaurant Marlenheim, Alsace. We like that kind of recipe. We googled Le Cerf and were impressed. Check out their menu including a €48 "bouillabaisse royale".  But we have a confession: they all made it with whole fish. We, however, suspect you’d prefer to use fillets. We’d serve this with spinach and fairly plain potatoes.


  • 10g dried porcini mushrooms
  • 65g unsalted butter
  • 100g leeks
  • 100g carrots
  • 75g celery
  • 75g onion
  • 1 tsp tomato puree
  • Half a bottle of pinot noir
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • about 1kg of whole zander fillets or 4 fillet steaks
  • 2 bay leaves
  • a sprig of thyme
  • a good sprig of parsley
  • 50ml double cream
  • 100g chestnut mushrooms (or similar)
  • salt and pepper


  1. Soak porcini in a little water for half an hour. Afterwards, slice them plus leek, carrot, celery, onion, fresh mushrooms and parsley finely. Season the fillets with salt and pepper. Cut the zander into four nice portions. Save the tails and flappy bits for a cat or dog. .
  2. Preheat oven to 220C/Gas 7. On the hob, melt most of the butter in a large roasting tin. Add the four veg items. Fry gently until soft.
  3. Add porcini, fry for two more minutes, then add puree, wine, stock, bay leaves and thyme. Stir to blend liquids.
  4. Now add the zander fillets, side by side. Bake for 15 minutes, checking after 12. Remove fillets carefully to a warm dish, cover with foil and keep warm.
  5. Strain the cooking broth into a pan, add porcini liquor and cream. Boil until reduced into a sauce. Meanwhile, cook fresh mushrooms in a frying pan with the butter. When cooked, combine with the sauce in the other pan.
  6. Make up each (warmed) plate with fish, sauce and parsley garnish, then rush to the table.