Horseradish-Crusted Bass Recipe with Borscht Broth | PBS Food

Horseradish-Crusted Bass with Borscht Broth

Ed Brown's recipe combines classic ingredients to create a flavorful bass dish with a borsht broth made with beets. Complete the dish with horseradish mashed potatoes.



  • BASS
  • 6 6-ounce fillets striped bass boneless and skinless
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 3 large eggs
  • 1 cup horseradish root peeled, grated coarsely lengthwise
  • 2 cups fresh bread crumbs or slightly crumbled matzah farfel (pulsed briefly in the food processor)
  • 1/3 cup loosely packed flat parsley leaves roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons grapeseed or vegetable oil
  • Yield: 6 servings (D)
  • SAUCE:
  • 2 medium beets (about 1 pound)
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 small white onion peeled and diced
  • 1 cup loosely packed white cabbage shredded
  • 1 tomato cored, split, seeded, and chopped
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 cups fish stock
  • 1/2 potato unpeeled and diced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon or to taste
  • 1/4 cup sour cream


  1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees and cover a cookie sheet or jelly-roll pan with aluminum foil. Season the fish well with salt and pepper and dredge in the flour, removing any excess. Place the eggs in a fiat soup bowl, beat well and then dip the fish fillets in the egg. In a mixing bowl stir together the horseradish, fresh bread crumbs or the matzah farfel, along with the parsley. Remove the fillets from the egg and coat generously with this mixture, patting the fish so it adheres well.
  2. In a large skillet over a medium-high heat, add 1 tablespoon of the butter and the oil. When the butter begins to brown, add 3 of the fish fillets, flesh side down first. After about 1 1/2 minutes, or when golden, remove the fillets to the cookie sheet. Add the remaining tablespoon of butter and repeat the procedure with the remaining 3 fillets. You can do this ahead of time. Bake in the oven for about 5 to 8 minutes or until cooked on the second side.
  3. Sauce: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and wrap the beets in aluminum foil. Roast for 1 1/2 hours or until very tender. Cool slightly, scrape the peel off with a butter knife, and cut in large chunks. In a medium, nonreactive saucepan melt 2 tablespoons of the butter over medium heat. Add the onion and the cabbage. Lower the heat, cover and sweat until tender, approximately 5 minutes.
  4. Add the tomato, wine, thyme, and bay leaf. Simmer, uncovered, and reduce by half, about 5 minutes. Then add the fish stock, the beets, and the potato. Simmer, uncovered, until the potatoes are fully cooked, about 10 to 15 minutes. Remove the herbs and transfer the sauce to a blender. Puree until smooth, approximately one minute. Taste and then add the remaining 1 1/2 tablespoon butter, salt, pepper, and lemon juice to taste and pulse for about 15 seconds.
  5. At the last minute swirl in the sour cream, but do not incorporate fully. You want to see the swirl. Spoon a puddle of sauce in the center of the plate. Set 1 crusted fillet on top. Serve with horseradish mashed potatoes by adding some prepared horseradish and chopped dill to the mashed potato.