Day boat plaice, sweet & sour peppers recipe

Beer Beach

Day boat plaice, sweet & sour peppers recipe

Day boat plaice, sweet & sour peppers recipe

Our second PIG Book, ‘THE PIG - 500 Miles of Food, Friends and Local Legends’ is available now to purchase online at THE PIG Market. Our second book is a celebration of the counties we call home, the unique produce and flavours associated with them and the exceptional cast of characters that make up our PIG family. We are giving you a sneak peek into our latest book with our day boat plaice, sweet and sour peppers recipe from THE PIG-at Combe in Devon. We love using local plaice from Beer just down the road by any fresh plaice works perfectly!

We’re big fans of the two ps – pickling and preserving. They’re a great way to keep our local flavours, even out of season. Plaice – we get ours from the day boats out of Beer – is a wonderfully flavoursome fish. It’s best cooked simply, with preserved lemons and sweet and sour peppers adding a gorgeous zesty kick.

What you’ll need

(Serves 4)
For the pickled lemons (make in advance)

  • 2 unwaxed lemons
  • 300ml white wine vinegar
  • 150g caster sugar
  • lemon leaves (if you can get them)
  • 3 sprigs lemon balm or lemon verbena

For the sweet and sour peppers

  • 3 red peppers
  • 100g red onion
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 150ml olive oil
  • 30g caster sugar
  • 90ml white wine vinegar

For the day boat fish

  • 2 whole plaice (each weighing around 600g; 1 fish between 2 people)
  • salt and ground white pepper
  • 25g salted butter, softened
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 teaspoons baby capers


What to do

Place the lemons in the freezer until firm but not solid. Using a very sharp knife, slice them as thinly as possible. In a pan, heat the vinegar and sugar and simmer for 20 minutes. Remove from the heat and add the leaves and herbs; allow to cool. When cooled, pour over the sliced lemons and cover with a lid. Allow to sit for at least two days before using.

Peel the peppers with a veg peeler, remove the seeds and slice them into strips. Thinly slice the onion and garlic. Warm the oil in a pan over a medium heat, add the peppers and onions and cook until soft. Add the garlic and sugar and stir to dissolve. Add the vinegar; taste and add more sugar if you need it. Chill until you’re ready to serve.

Heat the oven to 200ºC, 180ºC fan (400ºF), Gas Mark 6.

Season the skin on both sides with salt and ground white pepper and brush on some soft butter. Heat a frying pan until it’s fairly hot, then add 2 tablespoons of the pepper preserving oil. Add the fish presentation-side-down (which for us is the white side).

Continue cooking over a medium heat for around 3 minutes until lightly caramelised. Flip over and caramelise on the other side. Once coloured on both sides, place on a tray with the cooking oil and squeeze over the lemon juice.

 Place in the oven for 4-5 minutes. Check if the fish is ready: pierce with a skewer in the thickest part. If there’s little or no resistance, remove from the oven and leave to rest for 3-4 minutes before serving. After the fish is cooked you can use the same pan to quickly warm up the peppers and add the capers. Adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper.

The pickled lemon slices can be draped across the fish and some of the pickle juice used to increase acidity in the dish. Enjoy!

For more delicious recipes, garden tips and tricks and chats with our PIG teams, pick up a copy of our brand new book here.


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