Provençal bourride (fish stew with aïoli)
- January 2017
- Serves 6
- Hands-on time 45 min, simmering time 1 hour 20 min
Not your ordinary fish stew – this French-style dish is made with aïoli giving it a rich, creamy and garlicky flavour that demands to be mopped up with crusty bread. We recommend smearing the extra aïoli over the bread.
- 27g (3.9g saturated)
- 41.3g (3.5g sugars)
For the fish stock
- 1 onion, roughly chopped
- 1 leek, roughly chopped
- 1 carrot, roughly chopped
- 2 tsp fennel seeds
- 1 bouquet garni, tied with string (we used fresh thyme, parsley stalks and a bay leaf)
- 200ml dry white wine
- Bones and heads from your fish fillets
For the aïoli
- 4 fat garlic cloves, crushed
- 3 medium free-range egg yolks
- 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 250ml olive oil
- 40ml extra-virgin olive oil
- Lemon juice to season (optional)
For the stew
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 leek, finely chopped
- 200ml dry white wine, plus a splash
- 400g waxy potatoes, such as charlotte, chopped into bite-size pieces
- 4 white fish fillets (about 600g in total), such as mullet, bream, bass or monkfish – see tips – skinned and cut into chunks
- 6 large slices baguette, toasted, plus extra, untoasted, to serve
- 1 free-range egg yolk
- Small bunch fresh flatleaf parsley, finely chopped
- Put all the stock ingredients in a large pan with 2.5 litres water. Bring to a simmer and cook for 1 hour, skimming off any scum floating on the top every now and then, until fragrant. Strain the stock (discard bones and veg), then set aside. You should have 1-1.2 litres fish stock.
- Meanwhile, make the aïoli. Whizz the garlic with the 3 egg yolks, the vinegar and a large pinch of salt in a food processor for 2-3 minutes until very smooth and paler in colour. With the motor running, gradually pour in the 250ml olive oil in a very thin stream. The mixture will thicken and emulsify into a rich mayonnaise. Next, whizz in the extra-virgin olive oil, then taste and season with lemon juice, if needed, and plenty more salt. Set aside.
- To make the fish stew, heat the 2 tbsp oil in a large saucepan or sauté pan with a lid. Add the onion and leek with some salt and cook over a medium heat, stirring often, for 10 minutes until softened but not coloured. Turn up the heat, pour in the 200ml white wine and bubble to reduce by two thirds. Pour in the reserved fish stock, bring to a simmer, then add the potatoes and cook, covered, for 15 minutes until just tender. Turn the heat down, carefully add the fish fillets, then cook gently, uncovered, for 3-4 minutes until just opaque and flaking – don’t move them while they’re cooking or they’ll break up.
- Divide the toasted baguette slices among 6 shallow soup bowls, then use a slotted spoon to remove the fish and potatoes from the broth and divide among the bowls.
- Put half the aïoli in a medium bowl, then whisk in the remaining egg yolk, followed by a cup of the hot broth. Once smooth, whisk this back into the pan of broth, off the heat. Return the pan to a very low heat and cook, stirring, without boiling, for 3-5 minutes until slightly thickened. Taste and adjust the seasoning, stir in the parsley and the extra splash of wine, then ladle the hot broth over the fish in the bowls. Serve immediately, with the extra baguette and the remaining aïoli.
Monkfish don’t often come with bones, so get a mix of fish. Ask your fishmonger to fillet them for you and give you the bones (and a few extras). You can use good fish stock and start from step 2, but it’s better with homemade stock. Around half a monkfish tail fillet equals one white fish fillet.
You could also use prawns or mussels to replace some of the fish
Make the fish stock up to 24 hours ahead and keep in the fridge. The aïoli can be made up to 4 days ahead – keep it chilled.
Traditionally, this is paired with a cool, pale, dry Provençale rosé – not very wintry, but it really works!
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