1 x 2-2.5kg Bideford Turbot from Day boats, filleted
1 bottle organic Devon cider
800g biodynamic nasturtium root or ‘Mashua’
800g biodynamic Peruvian Oca root ‘Oca de Peru’
1kg biodynamic turnips with tops
1 ltr organic milk
1 bay leaf
200g organic butter
1 organic lemon
This dish is inspired by my Devon roots and by a small farm I work with on Dartmoor that is called the Husbandry School. Suprisingly the South American tubers grow particularly well on Dartmoor with no intervention needed whatsoever and seem to be immune to disease and insect attack – perhaps because it is a foreign plant -the insects seem to ignore it. Consequently the farmers decided to plant ‘force fields’ of the Oca and Mashua around their more vulnerable crops to protect them from pests. Not only are these tubers absolutely delicious but they are a by-product of biodynamic pest control. It’s a shining example of Sustainable husbandry.
Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
Heat 100g butter in a small saucepan until browned and nutty (beurre noisette)
Reduce the cider by 2/3rds and mix with the browned butter. Place the roots on large squares of tin foil and form an envelope around them. Add the cider and brown butter mixture. Ensure the envelope is airtight then place in the oven for 17 minutes or until the roots are cooked through but still maintaining a little texture.
Separate the green tops from the turnips. Wash and set aside. Peel and slice the turnips and place in a large pan with the milk, bay leaf and 1 ltr water. Cook until soft then blend the turnips with a little of the cooking liquor to a smooth puree. Season with salt and lemon juice.
Heat a little oil in a heavy pan and when smoking hot add the fillets of turbot. Cook for 2 minutes on one side then add the remaining 100g of butter and flip over. Remove the pan from the heat, add the turnip tops and leave to wilt with the fish in the residual heat of the foaming butter. Season the fish with sea salt and a good squeeze of lemon juice.
Place a fillet of fish on each plate and surround with the roots, turnip tops and spoonfuls of the turnip puree. Serve the cooking juices from the roots separately.