Sunny Food for Happy People, and More...

Zander, Red Wine and Chocolate Sauce, Butternut Risotto, Chargrilled Porcini, Shallots Jam


Zander, Red Wine and Chocolate Sauce, Butternut Risotto, Chargrilled Porcini, Shallots Jam


This is my take on the famous Zander with Red Wine Sauce and Shallot Jam by Bernard Loiseau.

The sauce is just a reduction of red wine, bind with a purée of carrots, and in my version, with an addition of strong dark chocolate. It’s a very tasty sauce, with a strong flavor of wine. It goes very well with Zander.

And like I work in an Italian restaurant, I serve it with a risotto with diced butternut. When Italy meet France again.


Zander, Red Wine and Chocolate Sauce, Butternut Risotto, Chargrilled Porcini, Shallots Jam

CourseFishMain Course
Prep Time 2 hrs
Cooking Time 3 hrs
Total Time 5 hrs
Servings 4 People



  • 1 nice piece of Zander of about 200g, the thicker the better
  • 12 ml Olive Oil
  • 10 g Butter
  • Maldon Salt
  • Freshly Ground White Pepper

Shallot Jam

  • 320 g Shallots
  • 24 ml Olive Oil
  • 50 ml Red Wine
  • 20 g Sugar
  • 10 g Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 50 ml Porto
  • 80 ml Chicken Stock

Butternut Risotto

  • 110 g Butternut
  • 30 g Onion
  • 15 g Celery
  • 5 g Garlic
  • 150 g Arborrio or Carnaroli
  • 12 ml Olive Oil
  • 30 ml White Wine
  • 400 ml Chicken Stock
  • 4 g Coarsely Freshly Ground Black Pepper
  • 20 g Butter

Red Wine & Chocolate Sauce

  • 250 ml Red Wine, Malbec preferably
  • 20 g Dark Chocolate, 70%
  • 20 g Butter
  • 25 g Carrots
  • 2 g Sea Salt
  • 2 g White Pepper


  • 1/2 Porcini
  • Chives
  • Black Pepper
  • Maldon Salt


Shallots Jam

  • Cut the shallots into half lengthways, then slice and cook in olive oil for 10 minutes. Add sugar and all liquids, and cook for about 20 minutes or until they look like a brown jam. Season. 

Red Wine & Chocolate Sauce

  • Cook the carrots in salty water. Drain and blend into a very smooth puree. Keep aside.
    Reduce the red wine by 75%. Then, add in the carrot puree, chocolate and for service, whisk in cold butter. 

Butternut Risotto

  • You need now to prepare the butternut. Peel it, slice it into cubes and cook it slowly in a pan with olive oil and butter. Don't overcook it as it will get mushy when you will add it to the risotto. Tender and firm, that's your aim. 
  • In a pot, bring the chicken stock to the boil. 
    In a separate pot, put some olive oil and add the chopped onions, crushed garlic and sliced celery. Cook slowly for about 15 minutes without coloration. When the vegetables are all soft, add the ice and increase the heat. 
    The rice will start to fry. Don't stop stirring to avoid the rice to burn. After few minutes, the rice will look shiny, even a little bit translucent. Add the wine and stir well.
    Once the wine is all absorbed by the rice, start to add your boiling chicken stock. Reduce the heat, and keep cooking by adding ladles of stok while stirring the rice. Wait until the liquid is nearly all absorbed before adding the next one. 
    The rice is cooked when tender but still with a bite. You don't want it too soft as it will look like a messy purée later on. 
    Cover and wait for few minutes. Then time to finish it...
    Add in the cooked cubes of risotto, stir in chopped chives, black pepper.
    NB: in our restaurant, we don't cook the rice entirely. We half cook it, place it in a big tray to cool it down as quickly as possible and store it for service. Then when we need to make risotto. We just finish the cooking with the chicken stock, add butter at the end and voilà. It takes 5 minutes. 
    You could cook the butternut at the same time as the risotto, inside it. But with this way, I can really control the cooking and get it as I want it.


  • Let's cook the fish now. Dry your piece of Zander, and slightly cut the skin with a sharp knife. Don't go too deep. I like when there is a lot of cut. Then spread the skin with softened butter. Season both side with Maldon salt - or similar - and white ground pepper. On a hot pan with oil, place the fish skin down. 
    Normally, we place a heavy weight on top of it to make the fish as flat as possible, if you don't do it, the skin will bend inward and won't caramelize and get crispy uniformly. Do that just few minutes. Then remove the weight, reduce heat and cook slowly, covered. You can nourish the fish with the fat regularly. 
    I usually slightly undercook my fish. The time we plate and we serve them, they reach the customers at their peak, which mean moist, not dry or overcooked. 
    Panfry the porcini, cut in half, in butter, until it gets brown. Season. 
    Take some hot sauce, put at the bottom of the plate, in a circle, trying to leave the middle for the risotto. Place the risotto there, top with the zander, spoon some shallot jam and place the porcini. Decorate with herbs. 
    I also usually add more Maldon salt on top of the dish just before sending it. Add even more salty crunchiness. 
0 Total Views 0 Views Today

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *