Roast brill, sauerkraut, hazelnut gnocchi & local foraged mushrooms with fermented rye soup

Gary Pearce

Gary Pearce

15th October 2014
Gary Pearce

Roast brill, sauerkraut, hazelnut gnocchi & local foraged mushrooms with fermented rye soup

Photo credit to Repertoire Food and Design Limited, taken from Penny Ericson’s new cookery book ‘Meats, Eats, Drinks and Leaves

Roast brill, sauerkraut, hazelnut gnocchi & local foraged mushrooms with fermented rye soup

The rye fermentation is chef Gary’s wife, Martyna’s Nan’s traditional recipe and takes 3 days to make. Its Polish name is Zur and can be bought online or at specialty Polish shops. Gary also makes his sauerkraut but recommends that good quality store bought is also fine.

Serves 4

Equipment: deep fryer, ricer, digital scale


  • 1kg brill, filleted & skinned (have your fishmonger do this)
  • 500g sauerkraut
  • A selection of exotic mushrooms
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • A knob of butter
  • A splash of white wine
  • Salt & pepper
  • Hazelnut gnocchi:
  • 1kg potatoes (King Edward), baked
  • 100g potato flour
  • 100g roasted hazelnuts, chopped
  • 3egg yolks
  • 100g Parmesan
  • 10g salt
  • 50ml hazelnut oil
  • Fermented rye soup:
  • 300g rye flour
  • 500ml water, boiled and cooled to blood temperature
  • 4 garlic cloves, lightly crushed
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 10g juniper berries
  • 100g smoked sausage, chopped
  • 500 ml chicken stock
  • Salt
  • Nasturtium leaves & three-cornered garlic flowers


For the brill:
Lay the fillets back-to-back and head-to-toe and wrap in cling film and refrigerate until ready to use.
Prepare the fish when all other components of the dish are ready.
For the gnocchi:
Scoop out the potato flesh and pass through a ricer.
Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until well combined.
Roll into 3g balls.
Blanch in boiling salted water until they rise to the top then drain on kitchen paper.
When ready to serve pre-heat deep fryer to 180°C and fry until golden.
Season to taste and serve hot.
For the soup:
Mix together the rye flour, water and garlic in a sterilised jar and rest in a warm place for 3 days stirring everyday.
It should smell a bit sour.
When ready, sweat the onions and juniper in a pan then add the sausage.
Pour in the rye mixture and simmer for a few minutes.
Add the stock in small portions allowing the soup to reduce until you have a nice consistency.
Season to taste.
To serve:
In a lightly oiled pan fry the fish fillets on both sides for 1 minute each
Add a knob of butter and baste for 1 minute.
Dress the plate with the fish, gnocchi and little rondelles of warm sauerkraut and decorate with the nasturtium leaves and garlic flowers.
Serve the warm soup on the side.

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