Zander with Alkmaarse pearl barley and butter sauce by Ron Blaauw

Ingredients for 4 persons:

  • 200 gr Alkmaarse pearl barley
  • 4 dl vegetable or chicken fond / stock
  • 2 leaves of laurel
  • 100 gr smoked bacon blocks
  • 100 gr Sultana raisins
  • 4 dl farmers buttermilk
  • 3 tablespoons fresh herbs with dill, tarragon and mint, finely chopped.
  • Salt and pepper


  • 250 gr butter
  • 25 ml Noilly Prat (Vermouth)
  • 25 ml white wine (dry)
  • 40 gr shallot rings
  • 8 pieces of pepper granules (bruised)
  • 1 leaf of laurel
  • 4 pieces of egg yolks
  • 40 ml water


  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 3 drips of Tabasco
  • Add salt if you like


  • 4 pieces of zander fillet with skin (150 gr each)
  • 4 tablespoons of soya oil
  • 50 gr butter
  • Preheat the WWOO Braaimaster, on an indirect method for 180c.
  • Clean and soak the raisins in lukewarm water.
  • Clean the pearl barley with cold water.
  • Boil the pearl barley and the fond with laurel.
  • Boil the pearl barley in one hour al dente, in a covered pan on a medium fire in the WWOO Braaimaster.
  • Add the buttermilk and raisins halfway through the boil time.
  • Roast the bacon blocks in an oven dish on the Big Green Egg and keep this aside.
  • Cut the mint in very thin strips and keep this aside.
  • Melt the butter on an indirect fire on the WWOO Braaimaster. Make sure this colors light brown / nutty and pour this liquid through a refined sieve. Let it cool down to 50c.
  • Boil down the white wine, Vermouth, pepper, the laurel leaf, shallot and water halfway.
  • Sieve this mixture in a mixing bowl and let it cool down a bit.
  • Put a pan on the fire with some water and whip the white wine mixture with the egg yolks ‘au bain-marie’ on a medium fire.
  • Take the pan off the fire.
  • After that, whip the lukewarm butter through the egg yolks.
  • Flavor with the lemonjuice, salt, Tabasco and pepper.
  • Zander: check the fillet for fish bones. Carve the skin of the fillets a few times with a very sharp knife. Cover the fillets all around with butter and oil, flavor with salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons white wine (or stock).
  • Wrap all this up in foil and cook it al dente on the Big Green Egg, on a direct fire for about 10 minutes. Let it rest for another 4 minutes after that.

For serving:

  • Mix the roasted bacon (with the fluid fat) and mint through the pearl barley. Taste it, add some pepper according to your own taste and mix this well.
  • Serve this on warm plates. Unpack the fillets, put them on the pearl barley and add a good portion of sauce.

Ron’s advice: use fresh grated lemon skin and herbs to garnish.

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