Turbot steak masterclass: cook to perfection

Turbot steak masterclass: cook to perfection

We got to spend some time with restaurant Elliot's Exec Chef Matt Trabiani for a quick masterclass on how to perfect cooking wild turbot steaks. 

Our turbot fillets - also called turbot tranches in the trade (tranche meaning slice in French) - are cut from a 3 to 4kg wild turbot fish to ensure a 200-300g or 300-400g thick turbot steak with good meat content. Matt picked our wild turbot steaks to cook them with Elliot's handmade gnocchi and fish in a single pan. 

Here are 5 nifty pro tips Shaun picked up from Matt on how to cook the ultimate wild turbot steaks:

1. Pat the skin dry

You've heard it before but before diving into the cooking process, give your turbot fillets a little TLC by patting them dry. Grab a clean cloth or some trusty kitchen paper and gently pat the fillets dry, giving them a slight squeeze to extract any excess moisture. This step is your ticket to a fish with fabulous crispy skin, as removing excess moisture sets the stage for achieving a delightful texture when frying. On that note, don't worry if some skin gets stuck at the bottom of the pan, it will add texture to your sauce.

2. Oil that fish skin

While you heat up some oil in your pan, don't forget to lightly drizzle the skin-side of the fish with vegetable oil. The skin naturally has some oils, but when the fish is as fresh as our turbot, adding extra oil will help the salt cling to the skin. A little extra rapeseed or sunflower oil will do wonders for turbot steaks as fresh and as thick as ours. The oil not only helps the salt stick but also ensures a crispier skin.

3. Check the temperature

Ah, the delicate dance of achieving a fish cooked to perfection. For our turbot fillets, we're aiming for a culinary sweet spot of an internal fish temperature of about 45-50°C. Why? Well, this number signals that your fish meat is cooking up beautifully on the inside, gently loosening itself from its bones while maintaining its signature meaty tenderness.

4. Test with a toothpick or knife

Now, we know not everyone is kitted with a kitchen thermometer, but fear not, Chef Matt's got a nifty trick up his sleeve. Simply grab a toothpick and give your turbot a gentle poke. If it glides through with ease, you're in business. No resistance means your fish is cooked through. Alternatively, you can also bring your toothpick or a knife to your lip after poking the fish to check it radiates warmth

5. Let them rest

Just like you would do with a meat steak, give them a moment of rest before serving. Simply set aside the fish steaks onto a separate tray or dish, and let them rest for a few minutes. The rule of thumb is to rest them for half the time they were cooking for, and in our case it's about 5-7minutes of cooking so about 3 brief minutes of rest. This gives the meat time to relax and allow the juices to redistribute throughout the cut for texture perfection upon serving. 


Hungry for more?

In this video masterclass here, Matt takes Shaun through our main course, sharing his cooking pro tips to make the ultimate turbot steaks and gnocchi in Elliot's dream sauce. If you don't have fish jus at hand, don't worry, replace it with fish stock. 


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