Jane Devonshire's Christmas Recipes

Whole Baked Trout or Salmon with Watercress or Horseradish Mayonnaise 
Main Course


  1. Preaheat the oven to gas mark 5 / 190C (374F).                                                                     

  2. Lay the foil in the baking tray, making sure you have enough foil to fully enclose the fish and roll over at the top to make a parcel.                                                             

  3. Split lemon slices into x 3 piles. Smother the foil with butter, making sure any that touches the fish is greased, then place one pile of the lemon slices on the bottom underneath where the fish will go.                           

  4. Put a really healthy grinding of salt and pepper onto the lemon and the rest of the foil. Place the fish on the lemon slices.                                                

  5. Put another third of the lemon into the cavity of the fish with the herbs reserving some of the dill for decoration if you want.                                         

  6. Put the remaining lemon onto the top of the fish salt and pepper again and enclose fish in the tin foil parcel. Folding over the top to form a tight seal but leaving a little air in-between the foil and the fish.                                                                                                  

  7. Place in oven and bake for approx. 50 minutes, this does depend on the thickness of your fish. I remove from the oven, gently open the parcel where the fish is thickest and put a sharp knife in... If it pierces easily to the bone fish is cooked.                                                    

  8. Reseal parcel and leave on side to cool. When cooled gently remove herbs from inside and lemon from the top.                           

  9. Tip gently onto large serving platter. I find this is better done with x2 people.                                                                             

  10. Gently remove the skin - working from the head end it should peel off easily. Remove cooked lemon and herbs from inside and garnish with fresh if you want.

Jane says... The great thing about cooking a whole fish is if you have any leftovers they are wonderful to use over the Christmas week. I put the fish into quick quiches, make sandwiches and flavoured mayonnaise or simply put it onto bruschettas with the mayonnaise for a simple small snack or starter.

If you are worried about using raw eggs in a recipe or want to make it in advance you can now buy pasteurised liquid egg yolk and whites in most supermarkets.  I just Googled what the quantity would be... For the 2 egg yolks in this recipe you will need 36gm of liquid egg yolk. Alternatively add the flavourings to ready made mayonnaise it will still taste lovely.


And finally, the great thing about the mayonnaise to go with the trout/salmon is you can always add other flavourings such as garlic, dill or whatever takes your fancy.

I love fly fishing and the bonus is I quite often have a quite lot of big fish in my freezer to use up, which is wonderful come special occasions.


The great thing about a whole fish is it looks so lovely and special as a centrepiece on the table. It’s a real crowd pleaser. If you're prepping it the night before remember to leave skin on until serving as it will keep the fish moist.

Photo: © Peter Cassidy

Serves 8 - 10

5m x 450mm Extra strong roasting foil

1 large whole salmon or trout - your local fishmonger or supermarket will clean it for you.

3  lemons sliced 1 pack flat leaf parsley

1 pack dill

3 bay leaves

1 x packet of unsalted butter

Salt and Black Pepper

This is my method for making perfect homemade mayonnaise. I don’t put the acid ingredient, be it vinegar or lemon juice, in with the egg yolks... I find it curdles so this is my 'foolproof-Janeproof' method.


You will need a mixing bowl, electric hand whisk or food processor, tea towel, a small jug you can dribble liquid from and patience, its not a long process but if you try to rush it, it will probably split.

Homemade Mayonnaise


  1. If you have a food processor the balancing act with the tea towel and bowel is not necessary.                                                        

  2. Place the tea towel on a flat surface folded over or bunched up and put the bowl up against it at an angle. This stops the bowl moving.                                                                                                                                              

  3. Put the egg yolks into the bowl and whisk with your mixer until the mixture is light and fluffy and paler.                                                        

  4. Once the eggs have thickened you can start to add the oil but it needs to be just a few drops at a time to begin with.                          

  5. Add the oil whilst you mix (oil in one hand; mixer in the other; bowl steadied with tea towel). You will know if this has split the mixture. It will be thin and dark yellow not turning into a light mayonnaise. You can try adding a few drops of warm water to bring it back but chances are you will have to start again.                         

  6. You will see the mixture start to thicken, I can’t stress enough... Take your time. Once it starts to thicken you can begin to add oil in a very slow steady stream.                                                                                        

  7. Once I have added about half of the oil and the mixture is thickening nicely I add 1 tbspn warm water and then mix it in. You will see the mixture lightening up and loosening.                                                                  

  8. Continue to add the rest of the oil slowly in a steady stream. If at any time you see oil splashes or lumps in the mixture stop pouring and mix them in then resume the process. Once you have incorporated all the oil you should have a lovely mayonnaise. You can then add your lemon and salt. I like mine quite strong with lemon so maybe add ½ tbspn and then more if you want.

2 large egg yolks

250ml flavourless oil I use Sunflower

1 tbsp. lemon juice

1 tbsp. warm water

Salt to taste


Just take 1 x tbsp. horseradish I use the non-creamy version and stir into your mayonnaise.


Watercress and Hazelnut

1 bag baby leaf watercress, a few sprigs reserved for presentation

2 tbspn olive oil

1 tbspn lemon juice

1 – 2 tablespoon chopped hazelnuts


Combine all using a food processor or a hand blender then mix into the mayonnaise mixture.

© 2016 Jane Devonshire

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