Wild halibut with morels, wild garlic and Jersey Royals

Matthew Tomkinson was always destined for great things. Starting his career in 1998 at a vegetarian restaurant in Cheshire, Tomkinson went on to win the prestigious Roux Scholarship in 2005, age the age of 29.

He is now head chef of The Terrace restaurant at The Montagu Arms in Brockenhurst, which has been awarded three AA Rosettes. Matthew is proud to use ingredients provided by trusted regional suppliers to enhance the quality of the food, with the venue's very own kitchen garden also producing a variety of seasonal vegetables and herbs.

This wonderful halibut recipe combines the earthiness of morels with lovely wild garlic. Matthew presents this lovely seafood meal with a brilliantly garlicky halibut sauce that plays well with the Jersey Royal potatoes and the asparagus.

• Main dish • Serves 4 • 2 hours 30 minutes



 4 halibut escalopes, large

 plain flour for dusting

 1 dash of lemon juice

 olive oil

 salt


 1/2 small onion, finely sliced

 4 shallots, finely sliced

 1 leek, white only, finely sliced

 50g of fish trimmings, from halibut

 100ml of Noilly Prat vermouth

 150ml of double cream

 50ml of whole milk

 1/2 bulb of garlic, crushed

 1 bunch of rosemary, small

 olive oil


 100g of morel mushroom

 12 asparagus spears, peeled

 200g of Jersey Royal potatoes

 200g of wild garlic

 60g of butter

 20g of chives, chopped

 salt


1. Pour enough olive oil just to cover the base of a medium sized pan. Place on a medium heat and gently sweat the onion, leeks and shallots until soft.

2. Add the fish trimmings and cook for a further 10 minutes before adding the Noilly Prat. Reduce the liquid in the pan until almost dry, add the cream and milk and bring to the boil.

3. Remove from the heat and add the rosemary and garlic. Cover and leave to infuse for at least 1 hour. Pass through a fine sieve and set aside to cool until required.

4. Place the potatoes in a pan and cover with water a good pinch of salt. Bring to the boil and cook until tender, this should take around 10-15 minutes.

5. Allow the potatoes to sit in the hot water for an additional 5 minutes,before straining. Add 15g of the butter, the chives and a few pinches of salt. Add a little hot water and toss to form a buttery emulsion to coat the potatoes. Keep in a warm place.

6. In a large frying pan melt the remaining butter. As it starts to sizzle and foam, add the wild garlic and morels, cook gently until wilted and soft. Season to taste with salt.

7. Cook the asparagus in boiling water for 1 minute, strain and keep warm with the potatoes.

8. Place a large frying pan on a medium heat with a little olive oil. Lightly flour the halibut and cook until golden and just pink in the middle. This will take around 3 minutes on each side. Season with a small splash of lemon juice and salt.

9. Using warm plates, divide the various vegetables into the centre and top with the halibut. Reheat the sauce and froth lightly with a hand blender, spoon over to coat the fish and serve immediately.

Montagu Arms Hotel, Place Lane, Beaulieu, Brockenhurst T: 01590 624467 W: montaguarmshotel.co.uk