So if you’re like all of us here at City Fish, you work hard all day, and come home to a house where you just don’t want to have to deal with much of a meal. It’s a known fact that the majority of the meals that we prepare are one pot meals that typically take less than a half hour to prepare. You grab food where you can, and eat it when you have time available. With all the times people ask us for recipes, we tell them one of two things- something easy, or something that we eat.

The weekend was a great success. It was busy and beautiful down here with the addition of our Cruise ship crowds and Cheesefesters. At the end of the weekend, we were all beat.

Around lunch time today, we all looked in each other’s lunch pails. A sandwich in one, leftover chicken in the other, and something that looked awesome in the boss’s hands.

Vegetables, succulent chunks of halibut. It looked so filling and good.

“What’s that?”

“Halibut Pot Roast.”

Sounds simple enough. Fresh vegetables, sauteed, potatoes, little bit of vegetable broth, and some sauteed halibut cheeks. Little salt, little pepper, and some capers sprinkled on top, and we’ve got ourselves a meal.

Halibut is a deepwater fish most commonly found in Southeast Alaska. Fished from Ketchikan up past the Arctic Circle, these monsters can get up to over 500 pounds. As the fish gets heavier, it turns from a fish that swims upright to a fish that scuttles along the depths of the ocean floor. As a result, one eye moves from the bottom to the top side of the fish, making it an ugly, but deceptively delicious fish.

The texture is white and flaky, and has a reputation around the world for being one of the most delicious, prized fish from the icy cold waters of Alaska. It’s caught mostly by longline, a string of hooks individually baited and left along the ocean floor, enticing the fish with herring, pulled up 6 to 10 hours after the lines are set between two buoys that bob along the surface. According to former Halibut captain Joe Daniels, the brother of our owner Jon Daniels, the commercial lines are anchored 50 to 100 fathoms  (about 300-600 feet) deep. Due to recent quotas incurred by the Alaskan industry, it is no longer a free for all. We’re very lucky to have a large quota of halibut that captains can spread out over the course of an eight month stretch from March to November, ensuring top quality product for the better part of the year, and no break in the fresh supply. It’s one of our most consistent catches, and it works out great every time we cook it. It works in any manner of ways, and works well with almost any flavor combination.

Here’s something we tell people at the market that holds true in most every case: The weirder a fish looks, the better it tastes. Monkfish, halibut, their cousins the flounder and sole, sturgeon and skate wing are all prehistoric fish, but they’re some of the best tasting fish you can have. Looks like a circus act, but tastes like a dream.

Halibut is the most versatile fish in the case. I’ve prepared it every way, but I’ve never thought to do it Pot Roast style. That is, I never thought to do it until I saw what the boss was having for lunch. Without further ado, here is Jon’s lunch.

Halibut Pot Roast

2 lbs. Halibut Fillet

1 lb. baby red potatoes

1 yellow onion, thin sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved



bottle of Riesling, Chardonnay, or White Table Wine. (Is it good enough to drink?)

3 TBSP Butter

Olive Oil


Boil your baby reds until firm, not quiter tender. Drain them and reserve for later.

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Swirl olive oil in an Ovenproof Saute Pan, and sweat your onion for 3 to 4 minutes over medium heat until it starts to brown or caramelize. Add the garlic and tomato, saute for two minutes.

Put your halibut on your bed of vegetables, and put your parboiled potatoes, fresh herbs, and add a generous sprinkle of salt and pepper in the pan. Cover it with about a half cup of white wine, and pour yourself a glass to sip and enjoy while the fish is baking.

Bake, covered, for 22 to 25 minutes, or until the fish flakes easily. When it does, take it out of the oven, butter up the top of the halibut, and cover it to let the butter melt.

After five minutes, open it up, smell it, enjoy and revel in the smell, and then eat it.