Brill baked in cider with thyme, tomato and mustard

A recipe from Stephen Markwick

Brill RecipeThis recipe came from Colin White, a fellow George Perry-Smith disciple. Stephen worked at White’s restaurant in Cricklade for a while after he sold Bistro Twenty One. Stephen says it was like walking into his own restaurant, and Colin later came to help at Stephen’s Markwick’s restaurant during the busy December period.

Serves 4


  • 4 x 150g skinned fillets of brill cut to the same thickness
  • 2 tomatoes, peeled **
  • 1 – 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp thyme leaves, finely chopped
  • 4 tsp Dijon mustard
  • Parsley breadcrumbs
  • 25g butter
  • 150ml dry cider
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 200° C / Mk Gas 6. Put the brill fillets into a cast iron dish or ovenproof frying pan with what would have been the skin side upwards along with the chopped shallot and thyme.
  2. Season with salt and pepper
  3. Spread a thin layer (about a teaspoon) of mustard over each brill filet.
  4. Thinly slice the tomato and put 2-3 slices on each piece of fish.
  5. Sprinkle the parsley breadcrumbs over the tomatoes and top with a knob of butter.
  6. Pour in the cider, bring to the boil then transfer to the pre-heated oven for about 5 minutes.
  7. Once the fish is cooked remove it from the pan and keep it warm whilst you reduce the cooking liquor by approximately half.
  8. Add a couple of tablespoons of parsley and the remaining butter, shaking the pan or whisking as you do so. (this gives a richer finish to the sauce.)

To serve
Serve the brill fillets on a bed of spinach and some new potatoes.

**  To skin the tomatoes make a little nick skin of each tomato with a sharp knife, put them in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Count to 20 then drain off the water and cover with cold water. The skins should slip off easily.