John dory with fricassée of peas, smoked mussels & lomo

John dory with fricassée of peas, smoked mussels & lomo

4 as part of a shared meal
Chris Middleton

John dory is one of my favourite fish. I love how firm and sweet it is, and how it goes a little crispy when pan-fried in ghee. The pea fricassée is also delicious with some chopped flat-leaf (Italian) parsley stirred through at the last minute, when adding the butter.


Quantity Ingredient
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 french shallot, sliced
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1kg mussels, beards removed, scrubbed well
wood chips, for smoking
30g ghee
500g skinless john dory fillets, pin boned
sourdough bread, to serve

Pea fricassée

Quantity Ingredient
350g fresh peas, shelled
100g lomo or canadian bacon, diced, (see Note)
50g butter, diced


  1. Heat the vegetable oil in a large saucepan over high heat. Add the shallot and garlic and sweat for 30 seconds. Add the mussels and cook for 3–4 minutes, or until they have all opened. Discard any mussels that haven’t opened.
  2. Strain the mussels, reserving the mussel liquid in a wide bowl or tray that will fit inside a smoker. Once the mussels have cooled, check again and remove any beards you might have missed. Remove the mussels from their shells and place them in the reserved cooking liquid so they stay juicy and plump.
  3. Heat the wood chips in a smoker or kettle barbecue until they start to smoke. (Alternatively, line the bottom of an old wok or saucepan with foil, place your wood chips on the foil and heat over a high gas flame until smoking.) Place the bowl or tray of mussels and mussel stock into your smoking device. Reduce the heat to low, cover and leave to smoke for 20–30 minutes, depending on how smoked you’d like the mussels. Remove from the smoker and allow to cool.
  4. For the pea fricassée

    Place the peas and lomo in a saucepan. Add the mussel stock and bring to a simmer. Cook for 3 minutes, or until the peas are almost tender.
  5. Add the mussels and cook until the peas are tender. Stir in the butter. You probably won’t need any salt, but maybe a little freshly ground black pepper. Keep warm.
  6. To serve

    Heat a large non-stick frying pan over high heat with the ghee. Season the fish with salt and pepper, then cook for 2–3 minutes on each side, or until just cooked through.
  7. Spoon the peas and mussels and their liquid into a wide bowl. Arrange the fish fillets on top. Serve with crusty sourdough, to mop up all the juices.


  • Lomo is the spanish word for ‘loin’. Here we are using very lean, dry-cured pork loin, rather than beef loin.
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