A great fish stock recipe that makes a wonderful base for fish soups and stews.
You could easily buy a pre-made fish stock, but it will lack the depth of flavour you get from homemade. Using homemade stock will make all your bouillabaisses, soups, and stews taste so much more flavourful. You will definitely notice a difference.
Making stock is actually a really an easy process, which can be made even easier if you have a good fish monger to whom to turn. When I plan to make something like a bouillabaisse, I will call ahead and order 2 full Sea Bass (or other low fat fish), asking the fish monger to separate and debone the fillets, and store the cleaned fish carcasses (with heads) and skins separately. When I get home, I save the fillets for another meal (Bouillabaisse recipe coming soon!) and check to make sure the carcasses are completely cleaned of all innards. If not entirely clean, I finish the job and discard any innards removed. The cleaned carcasses, heads, and skins are the parts used for the stock.
Along with a mix of saved vegetable scraps and fresh produce, the fish carcasses are boiled on low for several hours to create a wonderful stock that can be used in many other dishes. I don't add salt to this stock as it will eventually be added to other dishes, which could then become too salty.
To store until it's needed, cool then freeze this stock in freezer-safe containers, or use silicone soup trays to freeze measured cubes ready for use.
TIP: Save vegetable scraps (except roots and dirty or spoiled parts) in a freezer-safe bag until you have enough to make a stock. I also use these when making homemade vegetable and chicken stocks.
(Makes 8 servings | Serving size = ~1 cup)
2 Sea Bass heads, carcasses and skins, cleaned of all innards
1 leek, roughly chopped
2 sticks celery with leaves, roughly chopped
1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
2 large whole shallots
1/2 head fennel, roughly chopped
5 or 6 sprigs fresh thyme
handful fresh parsley
2 bay leaves
4 whole peppercorns
4 whole allspice
water to cover (~8 cups)
In a large stock pot over medium-high heat, place all of the ingredients along with enough water to cover and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium-low to bring the boil down to a rolling simmer. Partially cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 3 or more hours, stirring occasionally to ensure nothing sticks to the bottom of the pot.
Once the stock darkens and it has cooked for several hours, carefully pass the stock through a sieve and into a large bowl. Discard the boiled vegetables and fish bones. Allow the stock to cool to room temperature then store in airtight containers in the refrigerator for up to 5 days, or store in freezer-safe containers and freeze. I use 1-cup Souper Cube Trays to freeze measured amounts for grab and go cooking anytime fish stock is required.
Nutritional Information Per Serving:
total calories = 37 | total fat = 1.89g | saturated fat = 0.47g | cholesterol = 2mg | sodium = 363mg | net carbohydrates = 0g | dietary fibre = 0g | sugars = 0g | protein = 5.27g