Autumn BBQ Monkfish

The nights are getting colder but here in Somerset the days are still sunny if a little chilly. It’s still dry so my mind has been turned to a last effort with the BBQ.

Son #2 has an autoimmune condition that affects his eyesight and is treated aggressively with drugs and injections that seriously curtail his appetite for several days of the month after treatment.  Not the ideal scenario for a sportsman burning 3-4000 calories a day. I have to think carefully about tempting him to the table – battered fish fillets and chips from the freezer section are simply not going to cut it. For these times I find that it’s difficult to go wrong with fish or almost anything else for that matter if bacon is involved. This recipe is low on effort and high on taste. Fast, simple, healthy and so, so flavoursome.

This is potentially costly on the fish front so take advice from your fishmonger on what options are available – for cost effective alternatives I sometimes use halibut, cod or haddock from the freezer section (defrosted) if I can’t get to a good fishmonger.

Instead of full on streaky bacon strips I usually opt for thin Italian pancetta strips which crisp beautifully on the outside whilst keeping the fish inside in good order.

As far as quantities go, I’m not going to give specifics as you can buy as much as you need for the day and judge it accordingly.

So lets go!

To prepare, boil some new baby potatoes in salted water until cooked through, quantity to suit. Drain, cool and set aside for warming later.

Slice some courgettes and aubergine lengthways and put them by the BBQ with some Carotino or hemp oil and a brush.

Spray oil or butter a sheet of foil large enough in length to go the length of the fish and wrap it up and over. Lay the pancetta strips staggered, clipping the full length of each other such that they overlap to match the length of the fish you have to prepare.


Lay the fish on the pancetta and wrap the ends of the bacon up and over on both sides to envelope it.

Wrap with the foil on the sides, leaving the top open for the pancetta to take on some colour. Throw on the BBQ (medium heat) for approx 10-15 minutes.

Try not to murder the fish as it will dry out and flake. When you are satisfied that it’s cooked through, wrap again and leave to rest on a wooden board for the table.

Oil the vegetables and pop onto the hot BBQ grill. Whilst that’s on the go, whack the potatoes in the microwave for a minute to warm through, but not too hot please. Spoon some fresh pesto over them, stir in and add to the table after crunching some fresh black pepper over. As the vegetables are coming off the grill, pile them on the chopping board and you are ready to go. You could also go a green salad on the side here, dressed with lemon oil for a last taste of the sun as the leaves fall.

Serve on warmed plates, drizzled with the juices from the foil.

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