Catfish «en meurette» Recipe

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The term «en meurette» refers to a dish that has been braised in a particularly delicious red wine sauce from the Burgundy region of France. Probably the best known of these dishes is oeufs en meurette, made from poached eggs. But even tastier, in my opinion, is fish made this way. The firm-fleshed monkfish (lotte in French) lends itself to braising and is wonderful en meurette. Carp and other firm-fleshed river fish are typical, so in the US a natural choice would be the humble catfish. It may be suprising to pair catfish with a ‘classy’ French sauce but I assure you, gentle reader, that the pairing results in some fine eating.

Prep time:
Cook time:
Servings: 4


Cost per serving $4.18 view details


  1. Begin by pouring a bottle of red wine into a saucepan and adding a sliced carrot, a sliced onion, a crushed garlic clove, a chopped shallot and some fresh herbs—some parsley, a spring of thyme and a bay leaf—then season with a pinch of salt and some whole peppercorns. Simmer briskly until the wine is reduced by half. Strain the reduction through a sieve into another saucepan, then thin out the sauce with some good stock. Bring back to a simmer and then thicken the sauce with some beurre manié, about two tablespoons of flour and butter rubbed together to make a paste. You can add some more if you feel the sauce is too thin, but remember that the sauce will reduce further during the next step and you only want to give the sauce to be nice and silky, not at all stodgy.
  2. While your wine is reducing, make the garnish for the fish by sautéing in butter or oil a goodly chunk of slab bacon or pancetta, cut into lardons, until well browned but not crisp. Set aside and, in the same skillet, sauté some button mushrooms that you have cut into quarters until they, too, are nicely softened and browned.
  3. Now assemble your dish: butter a braiser just large enough to hold all the ingredients and lay out your catfish fillets—one large fillet is enough for two people—cut into serving pieces. Then arrange the mushrooms and lardons on top and around the fish pieces. Pour over your red wine sauce, enough to just cover them. Then bring the dish to a simmer and let it cook gently until the fish is done, about 10-15 minutes depending on the size of the pieces (and the fish—monkfish should braise for much longer). If you like, just before serving you can sprinkle the fish with some chopped parsley or, even better, a persillade—parsley and garlic finely chopped together.


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Nutrition Facts

Amount Per Serving %DV
Serving Size 272g
Recipe makes 4 servings
Calories 270  
Calories from Fat 74 27%
Total Fat 8.19g 10%
Saturated Fat 2.08g 8%
Trans Fat 0.0g  
Cholesterol 52mg 17%
Sodium 462mg 19%
Potassium 599mg 17%
Total Carbs 9.15g 2%
Dietary Fiber 1.5g 5%
Sugars 2.99g 2%
Protein 18.95g 30%
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