- Active time:20 min
- Start to finish:1 hr
Pork or lamb caul fat—the lacy membrane that lines the animal’s abdominal cavity—is often used to wrap roasts, chops, or a classic French pâté en terrine. Here, meaty halibut fillets are first rubbed with a mix of chopped parsley, garlic, and lemon zest and then gift-wrapped with the caul. During cooking, the caul seals in the aromatics while basting the fish and imbuing it with deep flavor.
chopped flat-leaf parsley
finely chopped garlic
grated lemon zest
extra-virgin olive oil plus additional for cooking fish
(6-ounce) pieces skinless halibut fillet (about 1 inch thick)
caul fat (thawed if frozen), soaked in salted cold water 30 minutes
Preheat oven to 375°F with rack in middle.
Stir together parsley, garlic, zest, oil (2 Tbsp), 3/4 tsp salt, and 1/2 tsp pepper, then spread on both sides of fish.
Lay caul fat on a work surface, spreading gently to form a large thin sheet, and pat dry. Cut out squares (avoid areas where fat forms thick ribbons) large enough to wrap each piece of fish completely, then wrap fish, tucking ends under to form a neat parcel.
Heat a very thin layer of oil in a heavy 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat until hot. Sear fish parcels, seam side down, until just golden, about 2 minutes. Pour off excess fat from skillet, then turn fish and sear other side 1 minute. Transfer skillet to oven and roast until fish is just cooked through, about 6 minutes.
cooks’ note: Any leftover caul fat can be refrozen.