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Fish Stock

Yield: 4 quarts (1 gallon)

  • 5 lbs. bones of white, flat cold water ocean fish*
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil or butter
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 1/2 lb. mushrooms (about 2 cups)
  • 2 cups chopped. leeks, white part only
  • 2 cups diced celery, no leaves
  • a few stems of parsley
  • sprig thyme
  • bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. white pepper corns
  • 2 tsp. lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup dry white wine

Soak fish bones in cold water and carefully clean to remove all blood, which is bitter. Use head only if split & well cleaned. Do not include skin. Place vegetables in a heavy stock pot with herbs/spices, in the oil or butter, and cook over medium heat, covered. When the onions become translucent, add fish bones and the herbs and lemon juice. Cover with a piece of parchment. Let cook together 2-3 minutes at low-moderate heat.

Add the wine, reduce over medium-high heat by about 75% of the wine’s volume. Then add water to just cover bones, about one gallon. Bring to the simmering point over high heat, turn the heat down to low and simmer 30 minutes, uncovered. DO NOT touch or mix. Let steep additional 5-20 min. off heat. Strain through cheesecloth, without pressing on bones. Cool quickly either in an ice bath or by placing in a shallow metal container at room temperature (do NOT refrigerate hot), then label and store. Shelf life: 4 days in the refrigerator, or up to 6 months in the freezer.

*Best fish to use are turbot, sole, halibut, flounder, grouper. You can include no more that 1 lb. of skate, sturgeon, or swordfish bones. Fish considered passable if all else unavailable: snapper, pompano, cod, sea bass.