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Fish Stock

An elegant base for seafood soups and stews, this delicately flavoured stock can also be used as a poaching liquid for whole fish. Be careful not to overcook fish stock; too much cooking destroys the complex flavour and can give it a bitter edge. After making the stock, use the cooked fish in salads or a fish pie.

Fish Stock
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Ingredients

  • 700 g whole white-fleshed fish, such as cod, snapper or haddock, cleaned and scaled
  • 1–2 celery stalks, sliced
  • 1 small onion, sliced
  • 1 cup (250 ml) white wine, or the juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 sprigs fresh parsley
  • 1 sprig fresh thyme or 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 small bay leaf
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns

Preparation

  1. Cut off the fish head, slit open the fish and remove the bones. In a large saucepan, combine the fish fillets, head and bones. Add the remaining ingredients and 6–8 cups (1.5–2 litres) water. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium–high heat, using a slotted spoon to skim off any fat or scum that rises to the surface.
  2. Reduce the heat to very low and barely simmer the stock, uncovered, for about 5 minutes, until the fish fillets are just cooked. Using a slotted spoon, lift out the fish fillets and set aside to drain.
  3. Simmer the stock for a further 15 minutes.
  4. Line a fine sieve with muslin (cheesecloth) and set it over a large bowl. Slowly pour the stock through the sieve; discard the solids. Let the stock cool to room temperature. Pour the stock into serving-sized, airtight containers; cover, label and date. Store in the refrigerator for 1 week, or freeze for up to 6 months.

Makes 6 cups (1.5 litres)
Preparation: 15 minutes
Cooking: about 30 minutes


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