Though the monkfish (also known as anglerfish) is a large fish, only the tail is eaten. The white flesh is very dense and meat and it is excellent for roasting. Being firm, monkfish is also excellent for frying, braising, steaming and stewing. It is one of the best fish for use in making curries.
Coming from North Wales, as I do, this is a dish of monkfish tail roasted as we would normally cook lamb. For those who are not really into red meat it makes an excellent alternate Easter dish.
Monkfish Tail with Garlic and Rosemary
1.5kg rosemary tail
2 garlic cloves, sliced into slivers
freshly-ground black pepper, to taste
3 rosemary sprigs
4 tbsp parsley, finely chopped, to garnish
lemon wedges, to garnish
Remove the skin and pink membranes from the monkfish tail. Using a sharp knife, pierce the tail all over and insert the garlic slivers into these holes.Brush all over with olive oil and season liberally with salt and freshly-ground black pepper.
Arrange the fish in a lightly-greased roasting tin and sit the rosemary sprigs on top. Transfer to an oven pre-heated to 200C and roast, uncovered, for about 25 minutes, or until cooked through.
Transfer to a warmed serving dish and sprinkle the parsley over the top. Garnish with lemon wedges around the outside. Accompany by boiled new potatoes and spring vegetables and serve immediately.
As an alternative, you can sweat down shredded leeks in butter and serve the monkfish on a bed of these. I like to cook the leeks with mushrooms and then use this as a bed for the fish.
I hope you enjoy this traditional recipe for a roast monkfish tale and that you will try and cook it for itself. This is a truly excellent way of preparing this meaty fish and it makes and excellent springtime dish.
If you wish to lift the flavour of the dish a little, you can add a splash of dry vermouth and lemon juice to the monkfish before roasting.