Pan fried John Dory with beer, bacon and lettuce recipe

As seen on Rick Stein’s Food Stories on BBC Two, this is Rick’s pan fried John Dory with beer, bacon and lettuce recipe. On his trip to London visiting craft brewery, Wild Card, he uses a can of their pale ale to add to a sauce to serve with pan fried John Dory, bacon and lettuce.

Ingredients for Rick’s pan fried John Dory with beer, bacon and lettuce recipe


  • 4 x 175g fillets of john dory or gurnard, skin on
  • Salt
  • 50g butter, melted
  • 750g cos lettuce, shredded
  • 2 tbsp sunflower oil
  • 75g rindless smoked streaky bacon
  • 1 onion or a leek, finely chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, finely chopped or grated
  • 300ml good chicken stock
  • 300ml pale ale
  • Small handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

How to make Rick’s pan fried John Dory with beer, bacon and lettuce recipe

  1. Place the fish fillets on a plate and sprinkle with generously with salt. Leave for about 15-20 minutes, then rinse off and pat dry with kitchen towel. Brush the fish with a little of the butter and season with pepper.
  2. Heat a little butter in a frying pan and add the bacon and fry until golden and crisp. Add the remaining butter, the onion/leek and garlic and fry gently for 5 minutes, until softened. Then add the chicken stock and beer to the pan and reduce the volume of liquid by ¾ over a high heat. Turn down as much as possible and cover if possible and keep warm.
  3. In a separate pan heat a little oil over a medium heat and cook the fish skin side down for about 6-7 minutes until the skin is crisp and the fish is opaque.
  4. Stir the lettuce into the sauce and allow it to wilt then stir in the chopped parsley and season if needed with salt and pepper. Divide the lettuce and bacon between 4 plates and top with a piece of fish and spoon the sauce around. Serve immediately. 

Happy cooking

Ingredients for Rick’s Valle D’Aosta recipe


  • 500g savoy cabbage, chopped
  • 1.5 litres chicken stock or beef preferably home made or of good quality (or vegetable if you are vegetarian)
  • 5-6 thick slices (about 250-280g) of stale, dry sourdough or Rye sourdough bread
  • 1-2 large cloves of garlic, cut in half
  • 6 rashers streaky smoked bacon, chopped
  • 70ml olive oil
  • 30g butter
  • 300g Gruyere or Gouda cheese, grated or thinly sliced
  • 60g Parmesan cheese, grated
  • Salt and black pepper

How to make Rick’s Valle D’Aosta recipe

  1. Mix the Fontina/gruyere /Gouda with the parmesan and preheat the oven to 200c/180c fan.
  2. Boil the cabbage in the stock for about 5 minutes, then turn off the heat.
  3. Heat a little oil in a large frying pan and fry the bacon pieces until golden and starting to crisp, remove from the pan and set aside. Add the butter and a little more oil to the pan and fry the pieces of bread until golden and crisp on all sides then set it aside.
  4. In a large casserole using a slotted spoon, put half of the cabbage in the bottom and season with plenty of pepper and a little salt and add half of the bread half the bacon pieces and half of the cheese. Then repeat with more cabbage, bacon, bread and season with salt and pepper, ladle over the still hot stock and finish with the remaining cheese, bring up to a simmer and transfer to the oven and bake uncovered for 30-40 minutes until hot and bubbling with all the cheese melting.  
  5. Use a large serving spoon to serve into 4 warmed bowls. 

Happy cooking


Charlie Stein’s drink pairing

A pint of Tribute.

Rick Stein’s Food Stories

Rick’s new book, Rick Stein’s Food Stories, accompanies the BBC Two TV series of the same name which celebrates his favourite recipes from recent travels around the UK – including Cumbria, Belfast, Bristol and Birmingham. Pre-order a signed copy from our online shop.