Monkfish Cargot (Escargots-Style)

Monkfish Cargot (Escargots-Style)Monkfish Cargot (Escargots-Style)

A delightful dinner at Michael Mina’s Bardot Brasserie in the Aria Las Vegas served as the inspiration for this dish. But alas, with no snails on hand, I decided to try a monkfish version of Escargots de Bourgogne instead.

Et voilà, it exceeded our expectations!

The flesh of monkfish is dense, meaty, and succulent, with a sweet flavor. It has a firm texture that holds up well to baking at high heat in garlic butter, making it a perfect substitute for snails in this escargots-style recipe.

Monkfish Cargot (Escargots-Style)

Monkfish, also known as lotte in French cuisine, is a unique-looking fish found in both the Atlantic and Mediterranean. It’s known for its rather unattractive appearance, with a large, flat head, tapering body, and a wide mouth filled with sharp teeth.

Despite its unappealing looks, monkfish is prized for its delicious, firm flesh, often compared to lobster or scallops in taste and texture. It’s also a sustainable seafood choice, as monkfish populations are relatively abundant and well-managed.

Bardot Brasserie Las Vegas

Bardot Brasserie

ESCARGOTclassically prepared, absinthe butter, garlic, baguette
classically prepared, absinthe butter, garlic, baguette

As we also took some food to go, I was able to bring home a paper baguette bag too, to use in my photographs.

Monkfish Cargot Recipe

Monkfish Cargot (Escargots-Style)

Monkfish Cargot (Escargots-Style)

Herb Butter Ingredients
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 3/4 t. coarse sea salt
  • 4 oz. unsalted european-style butter, room temperature
  • 1 T. shallot, finely minced
  • 2 T. chives, finely minced
  • 1/4 c. parsley, finely minced
  • 1 1/2 t. lemon juice
  • 1 1/2 t. pastis
  • a grind of black pepper
Monkfish Ingredients
  • approx. 8 oz. monkfish fillets
  • sea salt and fresh ground pepper
How to Make Herb Butter for Escargots
Method for Herb Butter

In a medium bowl, mash garlic and salt together with a rubber spatula. Add very soft butter and mash well again. Add the rest of the ingredients and mix until well-combined. Set aside.


Chef Thomas Keller says that the Pernod is an important flavoring and helps to keep butter from separating as it cooks. Pernod is a specific brand of pastis, produced by Pernod Ricard, a French company. Chef Michael Mina uses absinthe in his recipe. Absinthe is a high-proof spirit with a distinct set of botanicals, while pastis, including brands like Pernod, is a lower-proof anise-flavored spirit. This recipe was adapted from Thomas Keller’s Bouchon.

Method for Monkfish

Remove any tough membrane from the monkfish fillets. Rinse and pat dry with paper towels.

Cut into 12 “extra-large-snail” size portions that will fit into the escargots dishes. Season with sea salt and fresh ground pepper.

To Cook

Preheat oven to 400°F.

Place monkfish cubes into the indentations of 2 Staub escargots dishes. Spoon about 2 teaspoons of the herb butter over each, using all the butter to cover the monkfish. Place dishes on a rimmed baking sheet.

Bake until the butter is bubbling, about 10 – 12 minutes. Test for doneness by inserting a paring knife into the monkfish flesh; if the blade comes out warm to the touch, the monkfish is done cooking.

Monkfish Cargot (Escargots-Style)

To Serve

Let the dishes cool just slightly then place on a serving plate with a doily to protect the plate from the heat and keep the dish from sliding. A baguette (toasted or not) is a must, to soak up the herb butter.

Monkfish Cargot (Escargots-Style)

More Michael Mina

Dinner at The Bellagio and Black Cod with Black Truffle Dashi here

More Thomas Keller

Salade de Laitue here

Tartine de Thon here

Le Pique-Nique here

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.