Winter Codfish Cooked „Al Cartoccio“ with Fennel and Roasted Potatoes

Winter codfish (also called skrei) has become very popular in German cuisine in the past years. And for a good reason: The firm-fleshed meat of the winter codfish is very aromatic and easy to turn into a delicious meal. It is also very lean and thus a nice change when you think you have just had your fill of hearty winter meat stews and one-pots, warming and soothing as they may be.

I prepared this recipe just the other day. The fish is wrapped into parchment paper („al cartoccio“) and baked in the oven – what can be simpler?


Ingredients (serves 2):

For the fish:

  • 400 grams of winter codfish fillet
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • freshly ground white pepper
  • salt
  • dash of lemon
  • 1/4 teaspoon of Piment d’Esplette (alternatively hot paprika)
  • 2-3 branches of fresh dill
  • 1/4 of a leek, cut into slices
  • 2 star anise

For the fennel:

  • 1 small to medium-sized fennel
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 50 ml of white wine
  • juice of 1 orange
  • 2 star anise
  • freshly ground pepper, salt

For the potatoes:

  • 8-10 small waxy potatoes
  • juice of 1/2 lemon
  • hickory salt

For the herb-infused butter:

  • 75 grams of butter
  • dash of lemon
  • fennel fronds
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh dill
  • 1/2 bunch of fresh flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon of hickory salt


Preparing the fish:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
  2. Very lightly brush the fish with olive oil and season with white pepper and salt on both sides.
  3. Place skin side down on a piece of parchment paper.
  4. Drizzle some lemon juice over the fish, then sprinkle with Piment d’Esplette.
  5. Place the dill on top, the slices of the leek and the star anise.
  6. Fold the parchment paper over the fish so that it is completely enclosed in the paper.
  7. Put in the hot oven for ca. 25 minutes.

Preparing the fennel:

  1. Cut the stalks of the fennel. Set aside the fronds and discard the stalks.
  2. Cut the fennel in half and slice thinly.
  3. Heat up the olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat.
  4. Fry the fennel in the olive oil for 5 minutes. It should not gain color, reduce the heat if necessary.
  5. Deglaze with the white wine. Add the orange juice and the star anise, lightly season with ground pepper and salt and bring to simmer.
  6. Cover with a lid and simmer over low temperature for approximately 10-15 minutes until soft.

Preparing the roasted potatoes:

  1. Boil the unpeeled potatoes for approximately 20-30 minutes until soft.
  2. Strain and transfer the potatoes into a shallow oven dish. Lightly press down with the back side of a spoon or a potato masher so that the potatoes just break open.
  3. Drizzle the lemon juice over the potatoes and sprinkle with hickory salt.
  4. Place in the oven together with the fish for the last 10 minutes of the cooking time of the fish.

Preparing the herb-infused butter:

  1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat.
  2. Add a dash of lemon to the melted butter, the chopped up herbs and the hickory salt.
  3. Keep warm until serving.


  1. Serve the fish immediately on the side of the potatoes and the fennel.
  2. Drizzle with the herb-infused butter to taste.

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