How to Cook Fish in Red Wine Sauce

By Nick Stellino

  • Yield:

    6 Servings


  • 2 tbsp Olive oil
  • 1/4 lb Slab bacon, without the rind, cut into 1/2-inch dice
  • 6 Garlic cloves, cut in half
  • 1 Onion, finely chopped
  • 1 Small carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 Rib of celery, finely chopped
  • 1 Bay leaf
  • 1/2 tsp Red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups Red wine
  • 2 cups Chicken broth
  • 2 tbsp Softened butter, mixed with 2 tbsp of flour
  • Salt, To Taste
  • 6 Fish fillets, skinless and boneless, (6-8 oz each, about 1 1/2-inches thick) salmon, Chilean sea bass or halibut
  • 3/4 tsp Salt
  • 1/2 tsp Pepper
  • 1/2 tsp Garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp Paprika
  • 4 tbsp Extra-light olive oil
  • 1 tbsp Butter
  • 1/4 pound Bacon slab or Pancetta, Diced and browned, (which has been leftover from making the Red Wine Sauce)


Red Wine Sauce

  1. In a saucepan, add the olive oil and diced bacon. Cook over medium-low heat stirring well until the bacon is well-browned, 3-4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the bacon to a dish lined with a paper towel. Save for later.
  2. In the same saucepan, add the garlic, onion, carrot, celery, bay leaf and red pepper flakes. Cook over medium-
  3. low heat, stirring well for 4-5 minutes. Increase the heat to high and add the red wine, bring to a boil and reduce by 1/2, about 4-5 minutes.
  4. Add the chicken broth; bring to a boil and cook, stirring well for 5 more minutes. Reduce the heat to medium-low and cook for 30 minutes.
  5. Strain the sauce into a bowl and discard all the ingredients. Place the strained sauce back into the saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Add 1 teaspoon of the butter-flour mixture and stir well with a whisk, wait 2 minutes and repeat.
  6. Stop this process when the sauce is finally thickened to your liking. (Usually a tablespoon of the butter-flour mixture is more than enough, but just in case, you've got more on hand.) Salt to taste. Keep the sauce warm, until ready to serve.


  1. Make the Red Wine Sauce and keep warm.
  2. Mix all the dry ingredients together and sprinkle evenly on each side of the 6 fillets.
  3. Add the oil to a large nonstick sauté pan and cook over medium heat for 2 1/2 to 3 minutes until it starts rippling. Add the fillets, one at a time, reduce the heat and cook for about 2 to 2 1/2 minutes. Turn on the other side and cook for 3 more minutes. Using a slotted spatula, transfer the fillet to a dish lined with a paper towel and cover with foil.
  4. Add the butter to a small sauté pan and cook over medium heat until melted. Add the browned bacon and gently reheat the bacon for a minute or two.
  5. Place a serving of the Red Wine Sauce on the bottom of each serving dish, place a fish fillet on top and decorate with a few pieces of browned bacon.