Coley with Tomato, Smoked Bacon & Mushroom Sauce

Sauces never fail to make any dinner of simple ingredients more flavoursome, be it a gravy, a tomato sauce or one of those posh-sounding French sauces which are actually quite easy, really.

Taking coley and cabbage, partnered with something starchy alongside (rice, for me; boiled potatoes for the Mrs) I made up a tomato sauce packed with an umami punch.


Fish - Coley

Veggies - Cabbage and optionally, something starchy

Sauce - Chopped tomatoes, onion, garlic, chilli, smoked bacon, mushrooms, olive oil, black pepper and celery salt


Coley is a large, North Atlantic fish which gleans high protein profile fillets.

Technically a white fish, coley actually has a sublime pink hue to its flesh and a structure less flaky than cod, more like pollock or haddock.

I bought a side fillet which just wanted a few bones picking out and skinning. Cut into thick portions and the trimmings for the cat, just place the fish into a steamer and set aside.

We'll steam it later ...


Shred the cabbage and place into a steamer and set aside.

Tomato Sauce

Sauces should not be boiled. Sauces like gently reducing to meld the flavours, so give yourself half an hour.

Begin with a generous puddle of olive oil into which shredded smoked bacon can just bathe over a gentle heat before chopped onions, garlic and chilli join it.

Keep the heat gentle.

Toss in some sliced mushrooms, which will soak up the initial fats rendered from the bacon and the olive oil.

Pour in a carton of chopped tomatoes and pulp them down a little further.

As the volume reduces and the flavours come together, add some more olive oil in, along with black pepper and salt to taste. Sea salt is great; I used celery salt.

With the sauce done, just leave it on low and it will continue to improve.


Steam away ...

Both the cabbage and the coley will take about 10 minutes.


Cabbage down first, fish over and sauce on top. Optional starch alongside.

Yum! Sauces never fail to MAKE dinner!