Roasted Swordfish in Red Wine Sauce
By Charlie Burke
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Wine “rules” are now far less rigid, and the old axiom mandating white wine
with fish is frequently ignored, resulting in more interesting preparations.
With richly flavored swordfish dishes, a white wine which perfectly
complements other less assertive species will “disappear”, while a red will
match well with richness of this fish. It makes sense, then, to cook swordfish
with red wine. Less assertive species, such as halibut, can also be cooked in
red wine, with the sauce being mellowed by addition of a small amount of fat,
usually a tablespoon or two of butter.
In this preparation, red wine is combined with extra virgin olive oil, shallots
and fresh rosemary, and it reduces during high temperature roasting, resulting
in a rich, syrupy sauce evoking Mediterranean France or Italy. Preparation is
simple, and there is no need to turn the fish. If the fish is at room temperature,
it cooks for ten minutes per inch of thickness in a preheated 500 degree oven,
and the fish will be moist and tender.
This is a rich dish, and goes well with Swiss chard or spinach and roasted
potatoes, which can be done in the same 500 degree oven before cooking the
fish. Use the same wine you will be serving with dinner. I used a good
Australian Shiraz, but a Chianti classico, good quality Rhone or Spanish Rioja
will be suitable.
1 swordfish steak, preferably at least 1 inch thick
(12 -16 oz)
1/2 cup red wine
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil, plus extra for pan and fish
1 shallot, chopped (approximately 2 tablespoons)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary (use 1/2 tablespoon dried)
Kosher or sea salt and freshly ground pepper
Bring swordfish to room temperature (30 minutes) and preheat oven to 500
degrees. Oil a shallow baking pan, and add wine and other sauce ingredients.
Place fish into pan, salt and pepper the surface and lightly brush with olive oil.
Leaving the steak whole for cooking maintains moistness and tenderness.
Place fish into oven, and cook for 10 minutes per inch of thickness. Let set in
pan for several minutes, divide the fish, plate and pour sauce over the fish.
Serve with your choice of wine.
About the author: An organic farmer and avid cook, writer Charlie Burke is the
vice president of the New Hampshire Farmer’s Market Association (www.
nhfma.org) and helps run the Sanbornton Farmers' Market. Along with his wife,
Joanne, he grows certified organic herbs, greens and berries at Weather Hill
Farm in Sanbornton, NH.