If you enjoy seafood, you’ll love what homemade fish stock does to chowders, sauces and stews. Fish stock can be made with any type of white fish, but halibut is in season and it creates the most delicate, flavourful broth imaginable.
Vegetables, herbs, wine, water and halibut bones create a milky stock that outshines anything in a box, can or cube. Unlike beef or chicken stock, fish stock only needs to simmer for about 30 minutes.
Most fish stores, or seafood departments, are happy to save their halibut bones for you. If you ask nicely, they might even chop them into manageable sized pieces, which you’ll appreciate because some halibut are enormous. Call ahead to find out when the next halibut shipment arrives.
Makes 8 Cups
■ 2 1/2 – 3 pounds fresh halibut trim, chopped into 2″- 3″chunks and rinsed in cold water
■ 3 tablespoons grapeseed oil (or any mild tasting vegetable oil)
■ 2 onions, roughly chopped
■ 2 stalks celery, roughly chopped
■ 2 leeks, white part only, roughly chopped
■ 1 fennel bulb, roughly chopped
■ 4 whole garlic cloves
■ 1 cup dry white wine
■ 1 bouquet garni (bouquet of herbs): bundle together with kitchen string a few sprigs of fresh thyme and a generous handful of fresh parsley, including stems
■ 2 bay leaves
■ 1 teaspoon whole peppercorns
■ cold water
In a large stock pot, gently sauté the onions, celery, leek, fennel and garlic in the oil over medium heat until the vegetables soften slightly, without browning. Add the wine; continue to cook until the wine has evaporated by about half.
Add the fish bones and cook gently for a few minutes just until the meat on the fish bones starts to turn opaque. Add the bouquet garni, bay leaves, peppercorns and enough cold water to just cover the ingredients.
Bring the stock to a gentle simmer and continue to simmer for 30 minutes. The stock should not boil.
Strain the stock, discarding the solids, and use immediately or refrigerate for up to three days.
The stock can be transferred to plastic freezer bags and kept frozen for up to four months.
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