Thursday, February 7, 2013

Fish stew Burgundy--Matelote de poisson

The best is Lotte, the lobster of fish, and the ugliest of fish too. But catfish will do nicely, as it is firm and holds up in the stewing (simmer only, please). You can use the catfish 'nuggets'--the meat from behind the gills. It comes with some skin. OK. My wife thinks this tastes 'rangey'--and she is a rancher's daughter. But I like it. It's a workman's (specifically fisherman's) dish after all. And it is priced like that--half of what the catfish fillets cost. But you can buy the catfish fillets and cut them in pieces. Fine. Or you can take out a second mortgage, travel to New York, and buy Lotte, which is called Monkfish or Angler Fish. God they are ugly.

This is really a stew, so it's good to serve it in a big shallow bowl or deep plate. Have a soup spoon there, and good bread to soak up the soup. Toasted is nice. This you can have simmering away in 10 minutes.

Serves 3-4

2 ounces lardons OR salt pork in 1/2 inch cubes, OR pancetta OR bacon in 1-inch pieces
1 cup sliced onions (or 1/4 cup sliced onions and 12 small boiling onions, peeled and added later)
1 tablespoon flour
1 cup red wine, preferably Burgundy or Pinot Noir
1 cup clam juice (or fish stock)
bay leaf
1 allspice berry (or one clove)
1 clove garlic, mashed
salt (none if you use fish stock)
8 ounces mushrooms, cut in half or quartered
[optional: 2/3 cup frozen boiling onions]
1 and 1/4 pounds catfish OR scallops, or other fish such as walleye, halibut, haddock, etc.
  1. In a fait-tout over high heat, cook the pork (no need to wait for the pan to heat).
  2. Slice thinly and add the onions. Cook for 4 minutes, stirring occasionally
  3. Add the flour and stir until it is browned, about 2 minutes
  4. Add the rest of the ingredients except the fish and bring to a boil, stirring the bottom to incorporate the browned flour.
  5. Add the fish pieces, reduce the heat and simmer, covered, until the fish is done, about 8 to 10 minutes.
  6. Serve in bowls, garnished with chopped parsley, along with bread or potatoes or pasta

1 comment:

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