Biel-Style Perch Fillets (Eglifilets Bieler Art)

Whenever we had white fish fillets of any sort back at school, it was always prepared like this. I always thought that it was a Luzern way of preparing fish. But recently I found out that it originates in the city of Biel. Also known as Bienne. Biel is one of the few cities of Switzerland that straddles between the French and German speaking regions of the country. Hence, it is often known officially as Biel/Bienne. With both French and German having almost equal importance (German having a slightly upper hand in contrast with French in Fribourg city), Biel is a unique and charming town.

bienne

I have to admit that I rather have my fish grilled plain and served with a creamy and tasty sauce alongside roasted potatoes. But since I am in Switzerland now and have no choice but to eat this whenever it is being served (in school its either this with boiled potatoes or the salad bar…..a rather rotten combination), I had to eat it and like it. However, after a while, I realized that it was a rather refreshing change and am actually starting to miss it a little.

perch

Biel-Style Perch Fillets
Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 4 shallots, finely chopped
  • 500g perch fillets, skinned and seasoned with salt and pepper
  • 2 tablespoons chervil, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon dill, coarsely chopped
  • 100ml white wine
  • 100 ml fish or vegetable stock (I prefer using instant vegetable stock as fish stock can be a little smelly)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 100ml double cream
  • 1 tablespoon flour and butter paste (made by mixing well 1/2 tablespoon softened butter and 1/2 tablespoon plain white wheat flour)
  • salt & pepper to taste

Steps

  • In a large casserole dish greased with butter, scatter the shallots and place fish fillets flat on top. Make sure they do not pile up too much
  • Sprinkle chopped herbs over fish
  • In a bowl, mix stock, wine and lemon juice. Gently pour over fish. Take care not to displace the chopped herbs
  • Cover dish with aluminium foil and bake in a preheated oven at 180 deg celsius for 25 minutes or until fish is well cooked
  • Remove from oven and transfer fish and herbs to serving dish
  • Strain liquid from the casserole dish into a pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the liquid to a thick and syrupy consistency
  • Add cream and bring to the boil again. Reduce heat, add flour and butter paste and mix well to get rid of any lumps. Simmer for approximately 10 minutes. Whisking occasionally
  • Season sauce with salt & pepper and ladle over fish. Serve
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One thought on “Biel-Style Perch Fillets (Eglifilets Bieler Art)

  1. Perch fillets…. reminds me of school food! Being so spoilt for choice and growing up with groupers, snappers and cod fish on our little island, appreciating the perch took me awhile. I guess after tasting several fresh water fish varieties in Swiss, the perch is perhaps one of the less muddy tasting fish… and became one of my favs in Swiss! The butter-cream sauce is making my mouth water…!

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