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Juice half the lemon into a small saucepan; reserve the other half. Whisk in wine and cornstarch until combined. Add shallot, bay leaf and peppercorns. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to maintain a simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened and reduced by about half, 10 to 12 minutes.
Meanwhile, sprinkle cod with 1/4 teaspoon salt and pepper. Place a tarragon sprig on each portion. Thinly slice the remaining lemon half and lay the slices over the tarragon.
Place asparagus in an even layer in a large skillet. Add 1/2 cup water. Place the cod on top of the asparagus. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Cover and cook until the asparagus is tender and the fish is cooked through, 4 to 5 minutes.
Strain the reduced sauce through a sieve into a bowl. Return it to the pan. Over low heat, swirl butter into the sauce 1 tablespoon at a time until melted. Stir in the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and remove from the heat.
Serve the fish and asparagus topped with the sauce.