Thursday, 16 June 2016

Homemade salmon stock

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Homemade fish stock makes the most of every last bit of the fish and acts as a tasty, flavourful base for soups, sauces and risottos.

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Having recently spent a lot of time in the archipelago, the spirit of it is stuck with me. One day I could no longer fight the need for archipelago fish soup and so I made some. This time I went the whole hog and even made the stock myself (yes, standing ovation would be hihly appreciated right about now..)

But since this sudden burst of can do spirit flared up in my home and not in that archipelago-based summer paradise I own in my dreams, I did not have the scrap left over from the catch of the day. Noooo. Instead I had to schlep over to the shop to get some. 

Significantly less romantic than that dream scenario of mine. Significantly. 

Making your own fish stock takes a lot less time than meat stock and you can use creativity. The fish monger recommended using white pepper, but I like mine black. In addition to onion and carrot you can also use celery. Or fennel. Orange zest can be omitted, too, but it does lend a orangey heat that I really needed for the soup I made this for. 

The only two things you really need to remember are these: keep the water at a gentle simmer. If the heat is too hight the protein from the fish will seep out, turning the stock cloudy. And after the straining, get rid of the scrap asap. They will quickly develop a smell that will make you go off fish... for a while. 

Home made salmon stock:

head, tail and the bones of a salmon
2 l water
1 onion
1 carrot
the stalks of a large bunch of dill
12 black peppercorns
the zest of an orange in strips
2 tsp salt
3 bay leaves

Rinse off any visible blood. Other than that there's no need for prep - just chuck the fishy bits all into a pot. 

Pour water over the fish making sure the head's covered. Over medium heat bring to gentle simmer and simmer off all the foam that forms on top (those slotted spoons made of the steel mesh are best for this).

Once the foaming has stopped (20-30 minutes in), chuck in rest of the ingredients. Continue cooking for another half an hour or so (the longer you cook, the more it reduces and the stronger the flavour). Strain, check the taste and add salt if needed. After half an hour you should be left with about 1,5 l stock.

Bring to boil and use as a base in soups, sauces or risottos. After cooling, the stock can also be frozen. 



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