Fish stew with fillets of hake and gurnard

  • medium
  • 6
  • 1 hour 30 minutes
Not yet rated

Luke Holder's penchant for locally sourced ingredients has clearly influenced this complex yet hugely rewarding fish stew recipe. Using hake and gurnard – two less popular but no less flavoursome and often more sustainable fish – Luke combines a number of ingredients to give this dish great depth and character.

First published in 2015







To serve


  • Conical strainer


For the stew, heat the oven to 200°C/gas mark 6. Place the fish bones and heads in a roasting tin with a little olive oil and roast for 20 minutes
In a separate pan, roast the carrots, celery, onions, leeks, fennel, star anise, fennel seeds, garlic, tarragon and bay leaves until the vegetables start to colour. When the bones and vegetables are nicely coloured, add everything to a fresh pan with the tinned tomatoes and tomato purée
Cover with water and simmer for 35 minutes. Pass the fish soup base through a conical strainer, pressing the solids to extract all the flavour
Mix the water and saffron together. Add to the soup base then use a hand blender to blend the soup. Heat the soup in a clean pan, check the seasoning and simmer until reduced by 2/3, then leave to cool before chilling in the fridge
To prepare the potatoes, top and tail the new potatoes to make them barrel shaped. Cook them in a pan of seasoned water with 2 pinches of saffron for about 15-20 minutes, or until tender. The water should be quite yellow. Drain
To cook the fish, place the gurnard and hake fillets into a large dish so they fit snugly (you may have to do this in batches if you do not have a large enough dish) and cover with enough olive oil to submerge the fillets - roughly a litre
Cook in the oven for 18 minutes at 140°C/gas mark 2
When tender, remove the fish from the oil and allow to drain on some kitchen paper. Finish the fish soup with some left over chopped coriander and tarragon, saffron vinegar, and fresh lime juice, place a gurnard and hake fillet into each bowl and pour over some soup. Serve immediately
First published in 2015

Luke Holder comes by his taste for ultra-authentic local cuisine honestly: he's spent large chunks of his career soaking up regional techniques in far-flung parts of the world.

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