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Culinary Arts

Pan Roasting: Monkfish Tail With Beurre Rouge

Thomas Keller

Lesson time 20:19 min

Beginning with a red wine butter sauce, Chef Keller shares his technique for preparing a delicious monkfish tail.

Thomas Keller
Teaches Cooking Techniques III: Seafood, Sous Vide, and Desserts
Chef Thomas Keller’s third MasterClass is devoted to preparing seafood, sous vide cooking, and making classic desserts.
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[MUSIC PLAYING] - We're going to oven roast a monkfish tail. I love monkfish. It's one of those fish that is firm in flesh, very meaty, and lends itself incredibly well to oven roasting. We're going to start our Beurre Rouge first, because we're going to serve our roasted monkfish with a red wine butter sauce. I know that's a little bit odd. Most people like to drink white wine with their fish. But because of the cooking technique we're using for this, we're going to go ahead and make a red wine sauce with it and then roast it. Where shall we start? We're going start with a red wine reduction. It's actually red wine and port wine. So it's three parts red wine-- again, red wine that you would drink at the table-- and port-- again, port that you would drink at the table. So we're going to go ahead and add that to our sauce pot. This is, again, a reduction that is going to be finished with butter. We're going to add some mushrooms, shallots, and sweet carrots. Get that going, really nice. Now we're going to make a sachet. And the sachet is full of herbs and spices. In this case, we have some-- some parsley, some thyme, some peppercorn, and some bay leaf. I'm going to go ahead and wrap that in this cheesecloth. Fold it over, tuck, tuck, tuck, boom, boom, boom. There we go. It's nice and loose. We're going to go ahead and tie it. Twice around the top, twice around the bottom, meeting in the center. Slipknot. Go ahead and add that to that as well. OK, so we're going to go ahead and let that reduce. It's going to reduce down to a syrup. And then we're going to strain it into a smaller vessel, and then go ahead and add our chilled butter to it as we emulsify that sauce. In the meantime, we're going to go ahead and truss our monkfish tail. The monkfish tail probably went another five inches. But it sort of tapers down. So we wanted to get the portion that was consistent in size. I always start by trusting in the center first. And now be careful. Be very gentle in your trussing of fish. We don't want the string to in any way damage the meat, for two reasons. Obviously, we don't want to damage the meat. For the second reason, it'll stick, and you won't be able to pull it out without damaging the cooked meat. And again, we're looking for a consistent shape as well as density. Now for those of you who are concerned about the alcohol content in our wine and our port, that will all evaporate during this reduction process. So I'm going to go ahead and start to heat up my skillet. I got a cast iron skillet here. I like these. They're very good for heat distribution and heat retention, as well as quick recovery. OK, beautiful. So there we have our trussed monkfish tail. There we go. We can take our vegetable oil. It will be a good amount of vegetable oil. All right. So that's heating and that's reducing. So you can see we have our beautiful monkfish tail. It's consistent in its-- in its shape. So it's going to cook evenly an...

Elevate your cooking

In his third MasterClass, Chef Thomas Keller focuses on preparing fresh seafood like lobster and salmon, making classic desserts such as apple pie and lemon tart, and showing how sous vide cooking can be done at home to enhance flavor and texture. Whether you’re a beginning or advanced cook, you’ll learn the techniques and principles that will give you the understanding and skills to get the most delicious results.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

I've always been curious about sous-vide cooking, this was very interesting!

I enjoyed this class a lot, I have learned new ideas and new ways to cook. Mr. Keller you are the best and really good at what you do I am happy I took all of your classes . I will be right here waiting for your class you don't disappoint.

It was really great and helpfull! Mr Keller is an excellent teacher

I'm not a cook, but my wife said to watch this. I'm still not a cook, but I understand a lot more about why I'm not! And I appreciate more what she enjoys about it.


Eugène C.

Would you suggest deglazing the cast-iron skillet at the end instead of adding cold butter? It seems like a waste of great flavor bits.

A fellow student

my wine sauce was still too liquid even if i kept it a bit longer than said and put a bit more butter hoping that was making it as i was hoping to. any suggestions why? that's the final result thou. Monkfish was amazing

A fellow student

when he adds butter to the wine reduction, is the flame still on? cause it does not seem, but if i dd not get it wrong, he says it is.


Amazing. With Keller's Master Classes my sauce making has significantly improved. I do have a question if anyone knows: I am able to make these reduced sauces in small quantities...but how could I manage if I wanted much more quantity of sauce? Would gradually adding water along the emulsification help?

Alenka V.

I just love the easy to follow presentations by Chef Keller and simple tips which transfer to cooking all kinds of dish preparations. No shortcuts, full process. Thank you!

Mary S.

Glad to see he is using good old fashioned vegetable oil and not olive oil. This is an amazing class. It makes me want to hit the fish market here in Saudi Arabia.

Nancy R.

Oh, Chef seems like such an ordinary guy and delights in preparing his dishes. This looks delicious. I'm looking forward to making it.

Betsy M.

I made this using halibut, I could not find monkfish. Served it with sauteed spinach and his sous vide glazed carrots. Did not use quite as much butter to finish the sauce, and a little bit of sauce goes a very long way. I probably only used 2 tablespoons for each serving. It was incredibly delicious, if I had paid $40 in a restaurant for this entree I would not have been disappointed.

A fellow student

I can't believe how much fat is being used for the dish. This is a reflection of very old school french cuisine and seems quite old fashioned

Chris W.

I loved it! Never had Monkfish before either! Looks so elaborate but appears very easy to make. I kinda wish we could have seen what a Monkfish looks like. I believe it's a pretty ugly looking fish.