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Recipe: Plaice with smoked bacon & apples

05 April 2018 at 13:46


Early Spring is generally not a great time for fish, not only is it still cold and the seas can be rough making it harder for the fishermen to get out there, but also fish start to spawn and they tend not to swim in shoals so much, which makes catches smaller. But as April arrives with the promise of warmer weather we can look forward to a wider variety of fish to choose from. Plaice is just coming into season. It’s a versatile meaty flat fish and tends to be quite small, they are identified by their orange spots. These fish are best cooked whole to keep the moisture and flavour. In the recipe I only suggest a red apple as it looks pretty! And if you like apples then use more, Plaice is naturally sweet and the apples complement the flavour.


4 plaice skinned but left on the bone
A little plain flour
1 crisp red apple, cut into quarters, cored and each piece cut into four
4 rashers smoked streaky bacon cut into small “lardons”
Tblsp vegetable oil
60 g butter
Tblsp chopped parsley
Juice of half a lemon


  1. If you have a frying pan to hold all four fish then so much the better, but if not you can cook these one after the other or two at a time, use more oil if you need to. Heat the oil and half the butter until it starts to fizzle.
  2. Dust each side of the fish with the flour and place carefully in the hot pan and cook on one side until lightly brown, it will take about three minutes. Turn over and cook on the other side. The fish should be cooked. Remove from the pan and set aside to keep warm.
  3. Add the bacon pieces and stir to lightly brown, push to one side of the pan and add the apple slices. Cook gently to just colour in the bacon juices but they should hold their shape.
  4. Serve each plaice with the apples and bacon strewn over. Sprinkle with some chopped parsley.
  5. Add the remaining butter to the pan and allow to bubble up and brown lightly add a squeeze of lemon juice and pour over the fish.

Recipe by Christopher Trotter.
Food photography by Caroline Trotter.