Murray cod, Jerusalem artichokes, rainbow chard

Murray cod, Jerusalem artichokes, rainbow chard

By
From
Finding Fire
Serves
4

Murray cod is somewhat of an enigma, as it is not a member of the cod family; it is Australia’s largest native freshwater fish. It has a rich, succulent texture with a layer of sweet, creamy fat. In the restaurant we only use cod from one particular fishery, Uarah in Grong Grong, where Bruce Malcolm (affectionately known as ‘The Codfather’) is a pioneer in his field and produces a cod with a clean, sweet earthiness rather than the muddiness for which the fish can be known. Its high value and rich flavour mean that every bit should be used; some of the best-tasting parts are found in the wings and the cheeks. When grilled, the skin becomes crisp and glassy, like fish crackling, while the flesh remains moist and unctuous. Jerusalem artichoke has a clean earthiness that is the best marriage for the cod, as the outside caramelises to an incredible sweetness that perfectly complements the creamy interior.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
1 murray cod, approximately 1.6 kg
1 bunch rainbow chard
400g jerusalem artichokes, scrubbed
sea salt
150ml extra-virgin olive oil, plus extra for spraying
40ml apple-cider vinegar

For the sweet pickle

Quantity Ingredient
50ml filtered water
50ml apple-cider vinegar
50g sugar

Method

  1. 1. Prepare your embers.
  2. 2. Prepare the fish, carefully scaling and gutting it. Rinse quickly and dry well.
  3. 3. Butterfly the fish. Use a sharp knife to make an incision along the skin on the back of the fish to one side of the dorsal fin. Following this line, run the knife horizontally from the head to the tail, going halfway to the backbone. Move the knife through to the underside of the fish, then run the knife along the whole fillet. Turn the fish over and repeat on the other side.
  4. 4. With a pair of scissors, carefully cut the backbone free behind the head and in front of the tail. This will enable you to easily remove the backbone while retaining the head and tail, which hold the fish together during grilling.
  5. 5. Trim the belly. Locate the bones running along the middle of the top half of the fillet and carefully remove them using tweezers.
  6. 6. Prepare the sweet-pickled stems. Wash the rainbow chard and separate the leaves from the stems. Peel the chard stems, removing any woody strands, and dice evenly. In a saucepan, bring the water, vinegar and sugar to the boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Add the diced chard stems. Remove from the heat and leave to pickle for at least 20 minutes.
  7. 7. Grill the Jerusalem artichokes whole in an enclosed grill rack for 15–20 minutes, turning continuously until charred all over and soft when gently squeezed.
  8. 8. Season the inside of the fish well and place in an enclosed grill rack. Grill 15 cm (6 in) above evenly distributed embers for 12 minutes, turning the cod during the last 4 minutes of cooking to set the protein. The eyes should begin to pop. Transfer the fish to a clean tray, season well with sea salt and leave in a warm place to rest.
  9. 9. Meanwhile, spray the rainbow chard leaves lightly with olive oil and grill over the embers for 2 minutes until slightly crisp and charred. Season. Drain the chard stems of the pickle and toss through the leaves. The colourful stems should appear as little jewels among the leaves.
  10. 10. In a small saucepan, gently heat the olive oil. Pour it over the fish, add the vinegar and strain all the juices and the oil back in to the pan, whisking continuously to form an emulsion.
  11. 11. Arrange the grilled chard on a serving plate with the fish on top, pour the emulsion over it and serve immediately with the roasted artichokes.
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