Fish Stock - Guide - Recipe

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A fresh stock is an invaluable commodity in any kitchen, it allows us to maximize the flavour and worth of our main product be it fish, chicken or whatever. With the addition of a few vegetables, some fresh herbs and basic seasoning we can add a real depth of flavour to many dishes.

When making a traditional fish stock it is important to use the bones of white flat fish, the bones of oily fish for example make for an unpalatable stock.
Having said that it is not always feasible to buy whole flat fish or to make a good size pot of stock (although it does freeze very well) in which case, when using fillets, remove the skin and use this. It isnít quite the same but, in the case of say, a smoked fish kedgeree, a little stock flavoured with the smoky skins will absorb into the rice remarkably well. Make sure you simmer the stock gently, do not allow to boil and remove any impurities that rise to the surface.

Here is a recipe for a basic fish stock for use mainly in European style dishes:

2lb/1kg white fish trimmings
1 onion chopped
1 leek chopped
Ĺ fennel bulb chopped
1 tsp whole black peppercorns
5fl oz/150 ml dry white wine
a bundle of thyme, flat parsley and bay leaves

Cook the vegetables very gently in a little oil until soft but not browned. Add the wine and reduce (the stock should not taste of alcohol). Add the fish trimmings and cover with cold water. Put the seasoning elements in and slowly bring to a simmer. Cook for thirty minutes remembering to skim off any impurities. Pass the liquid through a muslin lined strainer.
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