The granite bedrock of the “Payrolles” lieu-dit gives its wine great depth. Matured in wood, it also develops good structure and unctuosity, which complements the firm flesh of the John Dory.
The cucumber and anise seeds add a lively freshness and carry the flavours of the pairing thru into a fine, refreshing finish.
These two ingredients, along with the crunchiness of the pickle, enhance the minerality of the Saint-Péray to create an elegant, lively pairing.
Peel, cut lengthwise into two, de-seed with a spoon, then slice the cucumbers. Cook them in boiling salted water for 2 mins. Drain and then plunge them in cold water. Drain again and blend into a smooth purée. Mix in the anise seeds (add 3.5 g of anise seeds for each kilogramme of purée). Spoon the purée into a sieve covered with a clean tea towel and put this in the fridge. Leave the purée to drain overnight. The following day, strain the purée through a fine sieve, then adjust the seasoning. Leave to chill.
Peel and cut the cucumber into regular diagonal slices of around 1 cm. Bring the vinegar and sugar to the boil in a pan, then leave to cool. Place the cucumber pieces and vinegar mixture in a bowl. Leave this to marinade for half a day. Drain.
Mix the softened butter with the anise seeds in a bowl. Leave to infuse in the fridge.
Then bring to boil the vegetable stock with 2 g anise seeds. Leave on the boil for 5 min in order to concentrate the mixture, then add the cream. Bring back to boil.
Continue boiling until the liquid has reduced by half. Off the heat, add the aniseed butter and continuously blend, using a hand-blender. Taste, then adjust the seasoning.
Leave to infuse for a few minutes. Drain through a fine sieve.
Melt the butter on low heat in a frying pan, add the anise seeds and leave to infuse for 15 min. Maintain the temperature of the butter close to 60-65°C (warm to the touch, but not hot enough to burn). A few minutes before serving, place the fillets into the butter preparation and leave them to cook on low heat, until they register 50°C in the centre, approximately 5-6 mins. When cooked, delicately lift out the fish.
On each plate, spoon the cucumber purée into the bottom of a 4 cm-diameter pastry cutter. Cover with a layer of diagonally-sliced cucumber, add a pinch of salt.
Place the John Dory on each plate with, at the side, a small ramekin filled with butter whisked with anise. Finish by sprinkling over a few grains of fleur de sel and anise.