Braised Monkfish with Crispy Brussels Sprouts and Brown Butter Crumb

Braised Monkfish with Crispy Brussels Sprouts and Brown Butter Crumb
Chef Joe Sasto of Bravo's Top Chef is preparing this seafood dish for four.

Ingredients for Brown Butter Crumb

  • 250 grams dehydrated milk powder
  • 6 Tbsp. unsalted butter, cut into small cubes

Ingredients for Black Garlic Bagna Cauda

  • 3 cups milk, divided
  • 4 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 anchovy fillets, packed in oil
  • 1 tsp. anchovy oil
  • 1 Tbsp. unsalted butter, melted
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • 3 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
  • 5 cloves black garlic
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Ingredients for Brasied Monkfish

  • 4 monkfish tail pieces, bone in, cut crosswise, 6-10 oz. each - or a whole 3-3 ½ pound tail, cleaned
  • ½ cup Wondra flour
  • 2 Tbsp. grapeseed oil
  • 3 Tbsp. unsalted butter
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 2 cups beef jus (make 1 day ahead, see recipe) or 1 cups store bought veal demi glace and 1cup store bought chicken stock to dilute as needed.
  • 3 cups Brussels sprout leaves
  • 1ea Meyer lemon (to zest)
  • Oil for frying

Ingredients for Beef Jus (Make one day ahead)

  • 3 pounds beef trimmings and bones
  • ¼ cup grapeseed oil
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 leek, cleaned and sliced
  • 1 carrot, sliced
  • 1 head garlic, split crosswise
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 Tbsp. tomato paste
  • 4 quarts chicken stock

Braised Monkfish - Home & Family



In a large wide pan, heat the butter over medium heat until foamy. Add the milk powder. Stirring constantly with a whisk or spatula, toast the milk solids until golden brown. Remove the toasted brown butter crumbs to a parchment lined sheet tray to cool. Set aside.


In a small sauce pot, add the garlic cloves and 1/2 cup of cold milk. Heat the milk to just a simmer. Strain off the milk and discard. Place the blanched garlic in new pot and repeat this process with the same garlic cloves 2 more times, each time using a clean pot and cold milk. After the third blanching, remove the garlic cloves and place into a blender. Add all of the remaining ingredients to the blender. Blend the ingredients to a smooth, creamy consistency. Season with salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste. Set aside. Keep warm.


If using a whole monkfish tail, remove any remaining membrane and skin. Cut it crosswise through the bone into 6-10 oz. pieces. Each piece should resemble veal osso buco. You can also save yourself this step by asking your fishmonger to butcher it for you.

Liberally season each piece with salt and pepper and a fine dusting of Wondra flour. Heat a saute pan with a grapeseed oil to just before smoking. Sear the fish on each side until golden brown. This step goes fast, approx. 1-2 minutes per side. Add a pat of butter, thyme, and clove of garlic. Baste the fish for one more minute with the foamy butter.

Remove the fish from the pan and place in a small sauce pot with the meat jus. Allow to glaze down with a lid, occasionally spoon over and lacquer the fish for approx. 10 minutes. Check the doneness with a cake-tester. It should slide easily in and out of the meat. Reserve jus.

While the fish is braising, quickly flash fry the Brussels sprout leaves to crispy, but not too brown. Transfer to a tray lined with a paper towel. While still hot season with fine salt and meyer lemon zest. Keep somewhere warm and away from moisture so they stay crispy.

Transfer fish to a cutting board and remove from the bone before plating. (Optional)


Place down a small pool of the bagna cauda, onto the plate. Set the fish on top. Add a tablespoon of cold butter to the jus and swirl around off the heat the emulsify. Spoon about 2 tablespoons of the reserved jus over the fish. Top with crispy Brussels sprout leaves and a big pinch of the brown butter crumb.

Directions for Beef Jus

Preheat oven to 425 F.

Set one pound of the meat trimmings aside Place the remaining meat and bones on baking tray and roast until golden brown. About 25 -30 minutes. Drain the fat and set aside.

Heat the grapeseed oil in large, heavy bottomed pot until just smoking. Add 1 pound of the beef trimmings to create a fond. Add the onions, leeks, carrots and garlic to the pot and caramelize slightly. Add the tomato paste and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Deglaze the pan with red wine and allow the alcohol to cook off.

Add the peppercorns, thyme, bay leaf and roasted meat and bones to the pot and cover with chicken stock. Bring the liquid to a simmer and continue cooking uncovered for 4-5 hours. Skim excess impurities and fat every 15 minutes. Strain the solids from the jus. Allow the liquid to pass through without pressing or tapping. Return to heat and reduce to desired consistency.

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