Cornwall LivingIssue #67

A Cornish Christmas alternative

Looking to enjoy a Cornish alternative to Christmas dinner?

One of Cornwall’s best-known chefs, Ben Tunnicliffe boasts a string of accolades and has been an advocate of seasonal Cornish food for almost two decades, experimenting to create dishes that really pack a flavoursome punch! This recipe is an alternative to traditional Christmas lunch, but retains some festive ingredients. Turbot, regarded as the king of fish, can be substituted for another species, but cooking times will vary, depending on the cut.

Turbot roasted on the bone, with sprouts, chestnuts, pancetta, roast potatoes and hollandaise sauce.

(Serves four)

You will need:

  • 4x 200g turbot troncons
  • 8 medium or large potatoes
  • Approximately 100g duck or goose fat/dripping
  • 200g sprouts
  • 100g pancetta
  • A small bunch of parsley
  • 4 egg yolks
  • 25ml white wine vinegar
  • 250g butter
  • Salt and pepper



  1. To begin cooking, add the fat to a suitable roasting tray in the oven and melt, before adding and turning the potatoes to coat them. Season well and put back in the oven, turning them every 10 to 15 minutes until golden.
  2. To make the hollandaise sauce, whisk the egg yolks together with salt, pepper and white wine vinegar, doing so over a pan of simmering water. When the mixture becomes a ribbon-like texture (a trail of the mixture should sit for around five seconds before merging back into the rest), remove from the heat and slowly add butter, whisking while you do so. Season with lemon juice, salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Meanwhile, heat a frying pan for the turbot. Season the fish well, add your chosen oil to the pan and when smoking, add the turbot, white skin side down. Cook until golden then turn onto the dark skin side. Allow to seal, then place the pan in the oven or transfer to a baking tray, roasting it for approximately eight to ten minutes.
  4. Now, place a frying pan on a moderate heat and add the cooked pancetta lardons. When they start to sizzle, add the sprouts, allowing them to fry and brown. Next chop your parsley, and add it with the chestnuts when the sprouts are hot through.
  5. To assemble the dish, carefully remove the dark skin by simply peeling it off. Spoon the sprouts, nuts, pancetta and parsley onto four warm plates. Place the roast potatoes to the side and lay the fish on top, before spooning over the hollandaise sauce and serving.


Save yourself some time by doing some prep the day before: Peel, wash and cut the potatoes, storing in cold water; trim the sprouts and blanch in salted boiling water until tender. Refresh them in cold water, before draining and cutting into halves of quarters. You can also cut the pancetta into lardons and fry in a dry pan until golden brown, as well as cut or break the chestnuts in half. Set all aside until required.

Sample Menu


Soup of the day - £6.50

Wild mushroom bruschetta, crispy egg, truffle oil - £7.50

Seared scallops, hogs pudding, apple, vanilla, sweet potato crisps, calvados - £9.50

Confit duck stovey, fried duck egg, choucroute, madeira - £7.75

Slow braised squid, chorizo sausage, red wine, tomatoes, parsley, aioli - £7.50


Slow braised shin of beef, onion puree, crispy shallots, silver skin onions, potato cake, greens - £16

Confit of Pork belly, braised celery, cider apples, creamed potato, grain mustard - £15.75

Roasted Jerusalem artichokes, parsnips, cavolo nero, raisin & thyme onions, red wine shallots - £13.00

Parmesan gnocchi, roasted beetroot, cauliflower, leeks - £13.00

Fresh fish according to market, please see daily blackboard


Sticky toffee pudding, vanilla ice cream, toffee sauce - £7

Hot chocolate fondant, tipsy prunes, prune & armagnac ice cream - £7

Warm almond and pistachio cake, poached quince, amaretto cheesecake cream - £7

Poached pear, mulled cider jelly, almond milk panna cotta - £7