As always, stocks are a bit of a fiddle and rather long-winded for the home cook. However, if you're bored on Sunday afternoon, make a batch and freeze it in plastic coffee cups - then you can make a really good lobster thermidor!
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- 1 kg (2lb ish) of fish bones, heads, trimmings from non-oily fish - a good indipendant fishmonger will have these ingredients
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled and chopped
- 1 leek, well washed and chopped
- 1 stick of celery, with leaves if possible, chopped
- 4 sprigs of parsley, with stalks
- 2 sprigs thyme
- 2 sprigs dill or fennel
- 1 bay leaf
- pinch of salt
- ¼ of a fennel bulb (optional)
- 2.5 litres (4 ¾ pints) of cold water
- Rinse the fish pieces under cold running water and drain
- Add all of the ingredients to your largest pan, cover with the water, cover and bring to the boil
- Reduce the heat and simmer for 30 minutes with the lid slightly ajar, skimming off any scum that forms
- Remove from the heat and allow to cool slightly
- Strain well, not disturbing the ingredients or you will have a cloudy stock
- Allow to cool then refrigerate or freeze
Don't cook for much more than 30 minutes you will have a nasty tasting fish-bone stew.
The trick to making crystal-clear stock: Ice filtered consommé
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