Recipe: Skate with butter and wild herbs

Serves 2

1 large skate wing, approx. 800g
100g butter
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tbsp rapeseed oil
Large handful of soft wild herbs, such as sorrel, wild garlic, chick weed, and dandelion (or use baby spinach), washed and dried

Rinse the skate wing, pat dry, and cut in half down the middle.

Season the pieces of skate on both sides with sea salt (we use Maldon in the restaurant).

Heat a heavy bottomed pan, add the oil. and fry the seasoned fish on the thickest side on a medium-hot flame.

Don’t touch or be tempted to flip the fish for 3-4 minutes, until the underneath is golden-brown.

Add the butter, turn the heat right down, and flip the fish onto the thinner side. The fish will gently poach as the butter browns, and smell beautifully nutty. Spoon some of the brown butter over the fish for a few minutes until the fish is cooked through.

Remove the fish to warm plates, and add the lemon juice (be careful; the pan may spit). Add the wild herbs or spinach to wilt lightly in the residual heat.

Season to taste, and serve with new season Jersey Royals or mashed potato, and a glass of wine, such as Kit’s Coty Chardonnay from Chapel Down, which is delicious with the skate and buttery sauce.

On the farm

We’re using our preserved foods from spring and summer. There’s plenty of brassicas coming through, and we’re tying up the rest of our meat curing and aging for winter. We’re also getting stuck into our pumpkins and squashes, and have another batch of salami coming up too.

Will’s ingredients of the month

The Small Holding

We’ve been growing our Jerusalem artichokes for a couple of years now. We pick out the very best from the year’s harvest, and store them in the fridge over winter, ready to replant the following year. They’re easy to grow, and the gifts that keep on giving.

The Curlew

Game is taking more of a hold on the menu, with more partridge and venison, along with wild mushrooms and other foraged goods, such as chestnuts, acorns, and cobnuts. Our dishes are getting a little bit heartier as the winter months approach, in the form of comfort-style food.

Will’s dishes of the month

The Small Holding

Last month’s Goatober dish featured Cabrito Goat Meat’s loin, leg, braised shoulder, and belly, plus liver and sausage using the offal, suet, and goat fat. We served it with a sauce made from the bones, alongside barbecued broccoli from the farm, goat’s cheese dressing, and fermented chillies.

The Curlew

For our ​halibut, celeriac, and lovage, our halibut is roasted on the bone, keeping it nice and juicy with an amazing flavour, almost like a steak. The salt-baked celeriac is buttery and savoury, which we finish with lovage brown butter over the top, adding those toasty, roasted juices.

Matt’s wines of the month

The Small Holding

A standout red from our list is Domaine Vincent Ogereau’s l’Enjouee. This old-vine blend of 70% Cabernet Franc, 15% Grolleau Noir, and 15% Pinot d’Aunis is cherry-red in the glass, with a nose of damson fruit and stewed plums, and cassis and red cherries on the palate.

The Curlew

Lieu Dit Winery’s Sauvignon Blanc 2018 is an incredible wine on our list. Using old-world varietals from Santa Barbara, California, Eric Railsback and Justin Willett make bright, floral, light, and elegant wines, showcasing fresh varietal fruit indigenous to the Loire Valley, harvested early for balance and lower alcohol.

Meet the team

Shout-out to Finn, who’s rocking it at The Small Holding! He’s finishing his apprenticeship here, helping Will, Duncan, and the team in the kitchen, while gaining valuable industry experience. We’re loving having him on board, and always jump at the chance to bring young people into hospitality.