Henry Perowne's Fish Stew
From Ian McEwan's novel Saturday with revisions by the author.
Note: Where quantities are not stated, trust your instincts or desires.
Into a stockpot of boiling water (a litre or more), put the bones of three skates (or other boned fish) with heads intact. If you have no obliging local fishmonger, use a pound or more of white fish.
Add a dozen or so mussels to the stock. Simmer for twenty five minutes.
Meanwhile, strip and chop three onions, and eight fat cloves of garlic. Soften over a low heat in a casserole with a lot of olive oil.
When they've melted sufficiently, add:
- a couple of crushed red chillies,
- a pinch of saffron,
- some bay leaves,
- orange-peel gratings,
- 5 anchovy fillets,
- 2 cans of peeled tomatoes.
When these have blended together in the heat, add a quarter bottle of white wine. Then strain off the stock and add to the casserole.
Simmer the mix for twenty minutes.
Rinse and/or scrub the clams and remaining mussels and place in a bowl. Cut the monkfish tails into chunks and place in a separate bowl. Wash the tiger prawns and add to the monkfish bowl. Keep both bowls refrigerated until ready to cook.
Just before dinner, reheat the casserole.
Simmer the clams, monkfish, mussels and prawns in the casserole for ten minutes.
Eat the stew with brown bread, or garlic bread, salad and a hearty red wine.