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Skate with Black Butter and Capers

This classic French recipe pairs skate with its old friend black butter. Easy to pull off and very hard to beat.


  • 1 x 675g (1 ½ lbs) skate wing, cut into 2, black skin removed

  • 1 onion, sliced

  • 4 sprigs of flat leaf parsley, chopped

  • 1 tablespoon flat leaf parsley, chopped

  • Pinch salt

  • 4 tbsp white wine vinegar

  • Handful of black peppercorns

  • 55g / 2 oz unsalted butter

  • Juice of 1 lemon

  • 1 tbsp capers, rinsed

  • Steamed peeled new potatoes, to serve


  • 1.

    Place the skate in a pan large enough to hold the fish, cover the skate completely in water. Add onion, parsley sprigs, salt, 2 tablespoons of white wine vinegar and some black

  • 2.

    Peppercorns. Bring to the boil, with the pan uncovered. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer on a low heat for 12 - 15minutes.

  • 3.

    Place the skate into an ovenproof serving dish and keep it hot over a low flame or just put it on to the serving plate whilst you make the black butter.

  • 4.

    To make the black butter, place the butter into a small frying pan and heat until it foams and begins to turn brown. Remove from the heat immediately, add the lemon juice, parsley and capers and pour instantly over the fish.

  • 5.

    Serve immediately with new potatoes.

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