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Valencian Fish Stew

Having friends round for supper? This classic fish stew, a Spanish speciality, is made for communal eating. You can use whatever fish you like best.


  • For the sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil

  • 3 shallots, chopped

  • 1 carrot, chopped

  • 1 leek, chopped

  • 1 piece fennel, chopped

  • 2 sticks celery, chopped

  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped

  • 30g (1oz) tomato puree

  • 4 tomatoes, skinned and chopped

  • 60ml (2floz) brandy

  • 175ml (6floz) glass white wine

  • 300g (11oz) mixed salmon and cod, chopped

  • 900ml (1 pint) fish stock

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 sprig tarragon

  • pinch cayenne pepper

  • pinch smoked paprika

  • For the stew

  • 400g assorted fish and shellfish - salmon, cod, skate and clams

  • 12 new potatoes, cooked

  • 2 carrots, sliced and cooked

  • 100g (4oz) fine beans, chopped and cooked

  • 50-100ml double cream

  • 1tbsp parsley, chopped

  • 1 lemon, juiced

  • salt and pepper

  • To serve

  • crusty bread

  • garlic mayonnaise


  • For the sauce:

  • 1.

    Heat the oil in a casserole dish.

  • 2.

    Add the shallots, leek, carrot, fennel, garlic and celery and fry for 10 mins over a low heat until soft. Add the tomato puree, chopped tomatoes, white wine and brandy and reduce by half. Add the chopped salmon and cod and cook for 5 mins. Add the stock, bay leaf, tarragon and cayenne pepper, cover and simmer for 40 mins. Blitz the mixture and then pass through a sieve. Really push the mix through the sieve to get as much flavour as possible.

  • For the stew:

  • 1.

    Pour the sauce back into the casserole dish and bring up to the boil.

  • 2.

    Add the fish and vegetables and simmer for 3 to 4 minutes or until the fish is cooked through. When cooked stir in the double cream and mix through the parsley.

  • 3.

    Stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.

  • To serve:

  • 1.

    Serve with crusty bread and garlic mayo.

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