Poached White Fish Roll in Savoury Jelly (Gefillte Fish)
A traditional Jewish passover dish, Geffilte Fish is also a popular Christmas and Easter dish in Poland. It is enjoyed cold with a little horseradish and provides a great protein boost from the fish while the gelatin is a fantastic gut-health remedy and is great for muscle and joint health.
It may sound slightly off-putting at first but this dish isdelicious, and left overs can be turned into fish burgers! By poaching it in vegetable broth, which is then turned into jelly to seal in the moisture of the fish on the plate, the fish becomes sweet and juicy. Traditionally the dish is served with a drizzle of white wine vinegar or a dollop of white horseradish.
Milk and butter can be substituted by dairy free alternatives, just as gluten free bread may be used instead of the white bread roll.
- 6 cups water
- 2 medium carrots
- 2 celery sticks
- 1 parsnip
- 1 large onion
- 2 sprigs of parsley
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 black peppercorns
- ½ tsp white pepper
- sea salt to taste
- 750g john dory or other white fish
- 1 day-old white bread roll // or gluten free white bread
- 120ml milk of your choice
- 1 large onion
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp softened butter or coconut oil
- 1 egg
- ½ tsp sea salt flakes
- ½ tsp ground white pepper
- 0.5 sqm of sterile dressing gauze (available from larger pharmacies)
- 4 cups of vegetable broth
- 20g gelatin
- 2 tbsp unrefined sugar
- Roughly chop the carrots, parsnip, celery and 1 onion, place in a large stockpot with the parsley sprigs, bay leaves and peppercorns, cover with water and bring to the boil. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for about 40 minutes. In the meantime, prepare the filling for the fish roll.
- Dice the other onion and brown in some olive oil, allow to cool slightly. Tear the breadroll into a handful of pieces and soak in milk. Rinse the fish under cold running water and pat dry with paper towel. Cut into rough bit-size pieces.
- Using a meat mincer or food processor, blend the fish, breadroll and fried onion into a smooth consistency. Add egg, salt, pepper and 3 tbsp of the milk left from breadsoaking. Mix all together with a wooden spoon - the mixture should be light and fluffy.
- Cut the gauze in half and place one of the halves (you should have about 2-3 layers) with the shorter end at the edge of the bench. Once rolled up, this will form the 'skin' of the fish log, which will later be removed, so don't worry too much about presentation. Smear softened butter down the entire length of the gauze, leaving 2 cm gaps on either edge. Spoon a quarter of the fish roll mixture evenly near the bottom buttered edge of the gauze to form a log. Fold gazue over then roll up tightly by holding on to the sides. Use kitchen string to secure the knots on each side. Repeat for 3 more logs.
- Place fish logs in the stock, return to heat and poach on very low heat (it should only just simmer) for about 1 hour. Remove from stock and allow to cool completely before removing the gauze. In the meantime, you can prepare the savoury jelly.
- Add gelatine, sugar and pepper to the stock, which should still be hot from poaching the fish. Whisk until sugar and gelatin are completely dissolved. Allow to cool, but not completely as it will set.
- Once the fish has cooled down, cut the gauze open and unwrap the logs. You can place each log in a loaf tin or a clean spaghetti storer or slice them and place on flatter platters. Pour over cooled vegetable broth jelly and allow to set in the fridge.