Eunice Power - Outside Catering Company, Waterford, Ireland.

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Fish Stock

Fishy fishy….

Do you realise how lucky we are in Dungarvan having a dedicated fishmonger? Many places twice our population don't have this luxury.

Buying fish from a supermarket is fine, but generally fish are not prepared on site and so no fish bones are available.

My first recipe this week is a fish stock. The basis for great soups and sauces lie in the stock. The method in making fish stock is different to other stocks with a very short simmering time, and if you over step it you will end up with a saucepan of fish glue! Fish stock is just as versatile as other stocks and broths, and is very healthy, too. The stock contains vitamins and minerals from the vegetables, as well as gelatine from the fish bones lured out by the acidic wine. The gelatine in stocks is great for digestion and helps the body absorb more protein. 

Fish stock can be kept in the freezer for months if not using it right away
  • 1 fennel -cleaned and sliced
  • 1 leek - cleaned and sliced
  • 1 Medium Onion - cleaned and sliced
  • 50g Butter
  • Small glug of olive oil
  • 1Kg of fish bones (use heads as well) 
  • A glass of white wine (100mls)
  • 1.5 litres of water
  • ½ lemon slices
  • A handful of parsley
  • A sprig of tarragon
  • A teaspoon of black peppercorn
In a large saucepan, melt the butter and olive oil together, add the vegetables and cook over a medium heat until soft but not coloured - 5-10 minutes.
Add the fish bones and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Add the cold water, wine, lemon slices, herbs and peppercorns. Bring to the boil and simmer over a medium heat for 20 minutes.
Pass through a sieve.

If I am not using the stock straight away I store it in the fridge for a few days or freeze it. I find rinsed out plastic milk containers great for storing stock (don't fill to the top though - you need to allow room for expansion when freezing)