STURGEON IN ROYAL STYLE
(JESIOTR PO KRÓLEWSKU)
- 1 whole sturgeon
- 4-5 small, multicolored carrots
- 1 cup of fish stock (made of sturgeon)
- 4-5 courgettes (baby zucchini)
- 4-5 baby beetroots
- 4-5 spears of asparagus
- ½ cup of young broad bean
- 6oz of rhubarb sliced into 2-cm pieces
- 4.5oz of caster sugar
The sturgeon is no ordinary product but a dish that historically reigned supreme on the court tables of Poland’s royalty. A traditional, Polish fish it is said to be one of the favorites of King Jan III Sobieski. While visiting the King’s stunning palace in Wilanów just on the outskirts of Warsaw, I had a chance to observe how the King’s old favorite dish is made from the hands of one of the best experts on the topic of Poland’s culinary heritage, Maciej Nowicki, director of the culinary reconstruction projects at Wilanów. In the second episode of Flavor of Poland, viewers are taken inside Maciej Nowicki’s kitchen and learn about these traditions as he prepares a spring recipe for the Polish sturgeon incorporating a medley of vegetables, spices and flavors that were characteristic to Poland’s baroque period. It’s a flavor journey back in time and a truly royal dish, historically as well as in appearance and taste! Hope you enjoy this royal, Polish dish too!
How to make:
- Filet the sturgeon, cutting at the neck and tail and removing the skin. Save the offcuts. They will be used in the next step of the recipe as is tradition with the “nose-to-tail” meat consumption of the Baroque period. Cut the sturgeon filets into approximately 4-5 inch pieces, salt and pepper on both sides to taste and set aside in the refrigerator to marinate.
- Prepare a fish stock: Bake the sturgeon heads at about 195º Fahrenheit for about 10-15 minutes, just until they achieve a delicate, golden brown color. Then, cook a fish stock. Put the sturgeon head and bones in a pot and cover in 2 ½ quarts of water. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Skim the scum that rises to the top. Lower the heat and simmer the stock for 4-6 hours, skimming as necessary. Strain the broth when done. It should have a deep golden brown color and intense flavor.
- Place the stock in a large skillet, turn heat to high and let it come to a light boil. Place each filet in the broth on the pan and poach the fish for approximately 10-15 minutes.
- While fish is poaching prepare your vegetables:
- Cut each carrots and courgette and spear of asparagus into two halves, lengthwise.
- Cut each beetroot into quarter pieces.
- Place carrots in a pot of boiling water for 2-4 minutes.
- Throw the quarter pieces of beetroot onto a medium-sized frying pan over a tablespoon of butter. Sprinkle with a bit of lime juice and cover with a bit of sturgeon broth (fish stock prepared earlier). Reduce quickly cooking for 2-3 minutes.
- Toss the courgettes onto a separate pan over a medium heat and cover with the boiling water from the carrots. Flavor with a pinch of salt and pepper and cook for 2-3 minutes, max.
- Add the broad beans and asparagus to the courgettes on the pan along with a half-teaspoon more of butter and toss over a medium-high heat for 2-3 more minutes.
- Make a rhubarb puree:
- Put the rhubarb and sugar in a small saucepan and cover with 4 tablespoons of water.
- Gently heat until the rhubarb begins to release its juice and turns the sugar into a syrup.
- Bring the syrup to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes until the rhubarb is tender.
- Blitz syrup and rhubarb in a food processor and pour through a sieve to create a smooth puree.
Serve and enjoy:
On a serving platter, spread a tablespoon of the rhubarb puree over the plate.
Arrange the courgette, asparagus and broad beans over the puree on the plate. Add the beets and carrots.
Finally, top with the sturgeon fillets.
Cut and enjoy a royal polish dish!