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Food and Drink, Recipes

Monkfish Recipe From The Bull Charlbury

Fish dish ht1dsd

Oxfordshire and its surrounds are famous for outstanding food and hospitality: from farms, growers and markets to cafes, pubs and restaurants. We are delighted to have the chance to feature some of the very best.

For our Foodie issue we return to The Bull Charlbury which – since its relaunch under the ownership of Phil Winser and James Garner – has been busy scooping up both awards, including a Bib Gourmand in from Michelin, and pretty much unilateral rave reviews. Giles Coren claimed to be ‘kind of in love’ when he described his visit for The Times in January, and we feel much the same way. If you haven’t yet visited, we strongly recommend you do so while the evenings are light and long. In the meantime, enjoy chef George Williams’ take on roast monkfish, served up with spectacular seasonal tomatoes.

“For us at the Bull, this is the ultimate way to serve monkfish. Cooking it on the bone retains all its juicy tenderness and the in-season tomatoes form a rich yet refreshing sauce, with the samphire and capers giving salty hits. Serving it whole provides a great spectacle and centrepiece to be enjoyed alongside your favourite summer vegetable dishes.” 

Monkfish, Samphire


  • 1kg Monkfish tail on the bone (double skinned)
  • 200g Heritage tomatoes
  • 6 cloves of garlic (crushed)
  • 1 small bunch of rosemary
  • 50ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 100ml white wine
  • 100g Samphire (steamed)
  • 1tbs Capers
  • 1 tbs Parsley (chopped)
  • 50g Butter


  • Set your oven to 220°C.
  • First, place the tomatoes in an oven tray with the crushed garlic and rosemary. Season generously and add a healthy glug of extra virgin olive oil. Put into the hot oven and after five minutes, turn down to 180°C.
  • While the tomatoes are cooking, get a large oven-proof frying pan (one that fits the whole monkfish tail) and make it hot. Add the remaining olive oil and sear the monkfish tail on all sides until golden brown.

(Tip: no fiddling with the monkfish… let it form a golden skin on each side before turning it,

otherwise you risk tearing).

  • Once the tail is browned, take the tomatoes out of the oven and pour them into the monkfish pan, along with the wine and capers.
  • Place the pan to the oven and cook for 12 minutes (or until it reaches an internal temperature of 55°C). Remove from the oven and add the samphire and chopped parsley.
  • Finally, add in the butter to make a rich emulsified sauce.
  • Take the monkfish to a large plate and gently pour all the remaining contents of the pan on top to serve. Finish with a final flourish of oil.

Summer is in full swing at The Bull Charlbury. Events such as a Comedy Night, Candle Making with LO Studio and Guided Walks are available throughout June to explore the wonderful Cotswold countryside with The Cotswolds Wardens. For festive celebrations, the Secret Garden Room provides an elegant backdrop for gatherings of up to 25 guests. For larger celebrations, the marquee can host groups of up to 30, offering a great outdoor experience for any special occasion. Stay updated by visiting


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