Fish stock is a great ingredient for any cook as it forms the basis of many tasty dishes such as chowders,  fish soups and sauces. There is something very rewarding about using your own homemade stock and it will really add great depth of flavour to your dish.  There is also the satisfaction of being a thrifty cook making

A big difference between fish stock and other stocks is time. Fish stocks do not need the hours of simmering that a beef or chicken stocks does. In fact don’t cook this recipe for longer than the suggested timings as rather than extracting more flavour it will tend to become bitter. Also note that the vegetables are cut into small pieces as this allows the maximum amount of flavour to extracted in the quickest time.

When making this fish stock recipe avoid  using the bones from oily fish such as Salmon Herring or Mackerel as they tend to have a stronger rather overpowering flavour.

Fish Stock ingredients 454g (1lb) Fish Bones

50g (2oz) Onion
50g (2oz) Leek
50g (2oz) Celery
50g (2oz) Fennel
25g (1oz) Butter
150ml(1/4 pint) White wine
Juice of one Lemon
Parsley sprigs, bay leaf, black peppercorns
1.2 litres (2 pints) Water

Cooking method for Fish Stock:

  • Remove any blood from the bones, then soak in cold water for a short time.
  • Peel and wash the vegetables and roughly chop them into small pieces.
  • Heat the butter in a heavy based pan. Add the vegetables and sweat for a few minutes.
  • Add the wine, reduce slightly, and then add the lemon juice and sufficient water to just cover the bones.
  • Tie together the parsley sprigs and fennel to make a bouquet garni.
  • Bring to the boil and skim with a spoon to remove any white or grey froth that rises to the surface.
  • When no more froth comes to the surface which will be after about 4 -5 minutes, add the bouquet garni and simmer for a further 20 – 25 minutes.
  • When ready, strain the stock.

Your Fish Stock will keep in the fridge for up to two days, or  you can freeze it. For the best flavour use from frozen within a month.

An alternative way of keeping your fish stock is to reduce the volume by half – simmer for longer. Pour the more concentrated stock into ice cube trays and keep in a plastic bag. This gives you a handy supply of fish stock cubes where you only need to defrost as few or as many as you need.