King of all things seafood, Nathan Outlaw shares his recipe for a bubbling fish stew
“Fish stew exists all around the globe. Where you are, or where you live, determines what goes in.
I like to use fish with a firm texture that will give a real depth of flavour. Roasting the fish heads and bones – and cooking the vegetables in the way I do here – really intensifies the flavours.
The scallops are a nice touch of luxury; along with the mussels, they add their own unique quality”.
• 1 monkfish tail, bone removed and reserved, trimmed of sinews, about 1.5 kg
• 2 gurnard, filleted (heads and bones reserved), 600 g each
• 8 large scallops, shelled and cleaned or 16 medium scallops, shelled and cleaned
• 40 live mussels, de-bearded and rinsed
• 1 garlic clove, peeled and chopped
• 1 rosemary sprig, leaves picked and chopped
• 1 lemon, zested
• 100ml light olive oil
• 1 large cod head, cleaned
• 300ml white wine
• sea salt
• freshly ground black pepper
For the stew:
• 2 onions, peeled and sliced
• 4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
• 2 fennel bulbs, finely chopped
• 2 red peppers, cored, deseeded and sliced
• 1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
• 1/2 orange, zest grated and juiced
• a big pinch saffron strands
• 3 bay leaves
• 1 rosemary sprig
• 50g tomato puree
• 8 ripe tomatoes, chopped
1 large baguette
light rapeseed oil, for frying
1 garlic clove, halved
1 Preheat your oven to 180°C.
2 Cut the monkfish into 8 equal chunks. Halve each gurnard fillet to give 8 pieces. Put the monkfish, gurnard, scallops and mussels into a bowl and add the garlic, rosemary, lemon zest, olive oil and some salt and pepper.
3 Mix carefully, cover and leave to marinate in the fridge for 1 hour.
4 To make the stock, line a roasting tray with a sheet of baking parchment. Lay the cod head and reserved fish heads and bones on the paper and roast for 25 minutes.
5 Turn them over and roast for another 25 minutes.
6 Place the tray over a medium heat on the hob. Add the wine, stirring and scraping to deglaze. Simmer for 5 minutes, then tip everything into a big cooking pot and add water to cover.
7 Bring to the boil and skim off any impurities from the surface. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes.
8 Meanwhile, heat another large pan over a medium heat and add a drizzle of olive oil. When it is hot, add the onions, garlic, fennel and red peppers. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes.
9 Now add the chilli flakes, orange zest, saffron, bay and rosemary and cook for 2 minutes. Stir in the tomato purée and cook, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes.
Add the chopped tomatoes and orange juice. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 10 minutes.
10 Pour the stock through a sieve onto the vegetables and simmer for 20 minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning, if necessary.
11 In the meantime, cut the baguette into thin slices. Heat a 1 cm depth of rapeseed oil in a wide pan. When hot, shallow-fry the bread slices until golden on both sides.
12 Drain the croûtes on kitchen paper, rub with the cut surface of the garlic and season with salt.
13 Add the monkfish to the stew base and cook for 1 minute, then add the gurnard and mussels and cook for another 2 minutes. Finally add the scallops and cook for 1 minute.
14 Serve the stew in the centre of the table with the croûtes on the side.
Recipe courtesy of Nathan Outlaw, extracted from Everyday Seafood. © Quadrille Publishing