Sous Vide Monkfish and Oxtail | Recipe by

Two tails’ – Sous Vide Monkfish and Oxtail, Herb pancake, Smoked Bacon and Parsnip

Two tails’ – Sous Vide Monkfish and Oxtail, Herb pancake, Smoked Bacon and Parsnip Fish and Seafood
  • COOK TIME: 12 hours
  • PREP TIME: 2 Hours
  • DIFFICULTY: Difficult
  • SERVES: 4



  • 220g of oxtail
  • salt


  • 500g of monkfish fillet, trimmed
  • 12 slices of pancetta
  • salt

Red wine sauce

  • 1 knob of butter
  • 1 onion, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • 50g of button mushrooms, roughly chopped
  • 200ml of red wine
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 1.25l brown chicken stock

Herb pancakes

  • 100g of egg
  • 50g of plain flour
  • 100ml of milk
  • 30ml of water
  • 1 pinch of chopped dill
  • 1 pinch of chopped parsley

Parsnip purée

  • 500g of parsnip, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 400ml of milk
  • 400ml of water
  • 50g of butter
  • salt

To serve

  • 2 parsnips, peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
  • oil
  • 1tbsp of honey
  • 10g of Parmesan, finely grated
  • 1 lime, zest only, finely grated
  • 2 slices of smoked bacon




Recipe courtesy of Will Holland from


  1. Preheat the water bath to a temperature of 90⁰C.
  2. For the oxtail, heat a dash of oil in a large saucepan. Season the meat with salt and pepper, then place in the hot pan and brown over a high heat. When the oxtail has caramelised all over, take it out of the pan and set aside to cool.
  3. Arrange oxtail slices side-by-side in a vacuum bag without overlapping them. Seal and place in the water bath. Leave to sous vide for 12 hours.
  4. To make the red wine sauce, heat the butter in a large saucepan until completely melted, then mix in the onions, mushrooms and garlic and sauté over a high heat. When the vegetables have caramelised, add the red wine. Bring the boil and simmer until reduced by half.
  5. Stir the thyme and peppercorns into the red wine reduction, then pour in the brown chicken stock. Bring to the boil and reduce over a medium heat until sauce-like in consistency. While the sauce is cooking, skim off any impurities that rise to the surface.
  6. Strain the sauce through a fine sieve, then strain again through a muslin cloth. Leave in a warm place until needed and do not allow to cool.
  7. Unseal the vacuum bag containing the oxtail. Pick the meat from each slice and discard the bones. Store the flaked meat in a warm place until needed.
  8. Next, make the pancakes. Place the plain flour in a bowl and, using a whisk, beat in the egg, milk and water to form a smooth batter. Meanwhile, warm a small non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Spread some pancake batter over the base of the hot pan in a wafer-thin layer. Fry for about 30 seconds, then flip the pancake and cook for the same amount of time on the other side.
  9. Repeat step 8 three more times to make 4 pancakes in total.
  10. Gently press the pancakes into 4 individual ramekins or round moulds. Divide the flaked oxtail between the pancake-lined moulds. Fold the edges of the pancakes down to cover the meat. Stretch a layer of cling film tightly over each mould, then refrigerate until needed.
  11. Preheat the water bath to a temperature of 47⁰C.
  12. To cook the monkfish, place the slices of pancetta one beside the other on a sheet of cling film, overlapping the edges to ensure that there are no gaps, and lay the monkfish fillet on top. Using the cling film to help you, wrap the pancetta tightly around the monkfish, creating a roll with fish on the inside. Stretch the cling film around the roll and tie at the ends, then seal inside a vacuum bag.
  13. Place the bag in the water bath and leave to cook for 30 minutes.
  14. Next, prepare the parsnip purée. In a saucepan over a medium heat, boil the chopped parsnip in the milk and water. When the parsnip is soft, remove the pan from the heat and drain off the cooking liquid. Place the parsnip into a blender with the butter and purée. Add salt to taste, then press through a fine sieve. Store in a warm place until needed and do not allow to cool.
  15. Place a non-stick frying pan over a high heat. Add the bacon to the dry pan – do not add any oil or cooking fat – and cook until crisp. Remove from the pan and pat dry with kitchen paper. Once cool, finely chop the crispy bacon, either by hand or using a food processor, to make a crumb.
  16. Bring a saucepan of salted water to the boil and add the parsnip cubes. Cook for 2 3 minutes, then refresh in iced water and leave to dry on kitchen paper.
  17. Once dry, fry the parsnip dice in a saucepan with a little oil. When the cubes turn golden, take the pan off the heat and stir in the honey, Parmesan and lime zest.
  18. Place the moulds containing the pancake-wrapped oxtail in a steamer and cook for 10 minutes.
  19. While the oxtail pancakes are cooking, unseal the vacuum bag containing the pancetta-wrapped monkfish and remove the cling film. Place a large frying pan over a high heat, add the monkfish and fry for 1 minute on each side to colour the pancetta. Remove from the pan and add salt to season. Leave to rest for a few minutes, then slice into medallions.
  20. To serve, spread red wine sauce generously over the base of each plate, then position a steamed oxtail pancake in the centre. Balance a monkfish medallion on top of the pancake and encircle it with a swirl of parsnip purée dotted with fried parsnip dice. Scatter the crispy bacon crumb over the whole dish to finish.
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