Mero a la Mallorquina
Recently on a trip to Mallorca we were touring the beautiful Serra de Tramuntana mountain region and found ourselves in the village of Fornalutx around lunchtime. After a wander around the lovely village we found a restaurant with a typical Mallorquin menu. As usual I settled for the Frito Mallorquin but Kirsty fancied the ‘Mero a la Mallorquina’ which strictly speaking means Grouper Mallorcan Style. Great choice and after some research she’s come up with a recipe that closely resembles the Fornalutx version. If you’re travelling in Mallorca and see ‘a la Mallorquina’ it generally tells you that the dish will be served with a large selection of locally produced vegetables.
- 6 tablespoons of olive oil
- 900g (2lb) of potatoes, peeled and sliced
- 6 grouper fillets or steaks – sea bass is an alternative
- 2 tablespoons of plain flour
For the sauce
- 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 medium sized onion finely chopped
- 1 leek thinly sliced
- 6 spring onions finely sliced
- 1 red pepper chopped small
- 2 handfuls of fresh chard or spinach, washed and chopped roughly
- 2 or 3 cloves of garlic crushed
- 1 tablespoon of fresh chopped parsley
- 1 bay leaf
- 300ml (1/2 pint) of fish stock – you can use shop bought stock or make your own – see Fish Stock Recipe
- 300ml (1/2) pint of tomato sauce – see Tomato Sauce Recipe
- 1 tablespoon of anis – optional
- 25g (1oz) pine nuts
- 25g (1oz) sultanas
- freshly ground black pepper
The first thing to do is make the sauce.
Heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a saucepan, add all the vegetables and garlic and cook over a moderate heat for about 5 minutes stirring often. Add the parsley, bay leaf and pour in the fish stock and the tomato sauce. Add the tablespoon of anis liquer. Bring this to the boil and simmer for about 30 minutes. Add the pine nuts and sultanas and season with salt and pepper.
Next heat 4 tablespoons of olive oil in a large flameproof casserole and fry the potatoes gently for about 20 minutes, turning them over every now and then so that they cook evenly.
While the potatoes are cooking add 2 tablespoons of the olive oil to a large frying pan and heat. Dust the fish fillets in the flour then fry them gently for about 4 or 5 minutes. Take them out of the pan and put them on a plate.
Once the potatoes are cooked arrange the fish on top of them in the casserole and pour the sauce over it all. Put the lid on the pan and bake in a preheated oven at 180C/350F/gasmark 4 for about 20 minutes.
Serve with some chilled Spanish white wine.