River Cottage Australia Paul West’s pocket baked fish

Baked pockets of all-in-one goodness

With a background that ranges from volunteering as an organic fruiterer to working as a professional chef, Paul West was a perfect fit to host TV series River Cottage Australia. The show chronicles his journey to transform this former dairy property on the NSW south coast into a sustainable and self-sufficient farm.




Preheat oven to 200°C or prepare a large frying pan with a tight-fitting lid. Drop potatoes in a small saucepan of water and bring to the boil. Simmer gently for 7-8 minutes to parboil. When a skewer inserted in the middle meets a little resistance, drain and set aside. When potatoes are cool enough to touch, use your hands to carefully peel the skin and discard. Set aside.


Cut 4 pieces of parchment or baking paper to about 3 times the width and twice the length of the fish fillets (so they will easily wrap around each fillet). Thickly slice the potatoes and divide between the parchment sheets, arranging them in a line down the centre of each sheet. Place the fish fillets on top of potatoes. Cut half the lemon in thin slices and the remainder in wedges, to serve. Divide lemon slices between parcels and add tomatoes, capers and garlic. Drizzle over white wine and place a small knob of butter on top of each piece of fish. Scatter over thyme leaves.


Fold paper over the fish and tie ends like a bonbon, so parcels are airtight. Place on baking trays and bake in oven for 7-8 minutes. Alternatively, place parcels in a frying pan, cover with lid and cook on medium heat for 6-8 minutes. Fish should be just done and a little rare in the middle – fish will continue cooking until parcels are unwrapped.


Serve fish on individual plates, still wrapped, accompanied by lemon wedges. Place parsley in a small dish, for scattering.


Paul has shared a selection of River Cottage recipes with us, click below for

Vegetable terrine 

Seared kingfish with crunchy salad

Zucchini cake with candied garden leaves


Read about Paul’s journey here or visit The Lifestyle Channel for more information on The River Cottage Australia.

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