Friday, April 18, 2008

Fumet de poisson (Fish stock)

In order to make the Filets de sole Dieppoise, which is next on my class list, I had to make the fish stock first. Fish stock is supposed to be made with white fish only. Do not use bones from fattier fish like trout, salmon, or mackerel.

Stocks are classified under fond de cuisine, which is the French word for stock. If translated literally, it means "foundation of the kitchen”. It is the liquid that comes out of simmering bones and meat with vegetables, herbs, and seasonings forming the basis of many sauces and soups. At its most basic, it is flavored water!

Stock to a cook is voice to a singer.

Broth, stock, and fumet
There are a few terms bandied about when talking about this liquid gold:
• A broth contains meat and bones and can be served as is.
• A stock contains bones and is used as an ingredient in other recipes.
• A fumet is usually referred to as a fish stock that has wine added to it.

Watch a pro
Here is a great video in 7 parts showing how to make fish fumet.

Recipe for Fish stock

Makes about 4 cups

1 pound fish (white, preferably)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 medium onions, chopped
4 shallots, chopped
2 leeks (white part only), chopped
1 Bouquet Garni
10 peppercorns
1½ cups dry white wine
3 cups water

You can use the heads of the fish, but clean the fish of the scales and gills. Chop into pieces.

Prepare the vegetables. Since there won't be time to extract all the flavor from big chunks of vegetables, chop them fairly small.

In a large stock pot, melt butter. Add the fish and the vegetables. Cook until vegetables are soft, about 2 minutes. Add the bouquet garni, peppercorns, and wine. Bring to a boil. Reduce the mixture by half. Stir in the water and bring to a boil. Skim off any froth. Lower the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes. Strain the stock through a fine-meshed sieve lined with a cheesecloth.

Tasting Notes
Fish stock is fishy. There’s not much else to say. After simmering fish for 20 minutes, the whole house smelled fishy so I simmered some cinnamon and cloves after I finished making this stock. But, the fish stock really was easy and enhanced the flavor of the sole immensely. It’s well worth the fish house smell!

. . . . . . . . . .

Running total: $338.43 + $15.94 = $354.37

Butter used so far: 4 pounds, 24 tablespoons


Anonymous said...

I've made chicken stock, beef stock and vegetable stock, but never even contemplated making fish stock - I usually just use veggie stock when it's called for! I can't see myself making it too often but I would like to give it a go just for the experience of making it :) Thanks for the warning on the fishy smelling house!

Unknown said...

Is it possible to store the stock long term in the freezer or something? It's definitely something I'd like to have, but I'm single, and I don't really know how much I can go through at once!

Shari said...

Hey Melissa,

Thanks for asking! Yes, any stock can be frozen, but it's best to use it up within 3 months. I've heard of people freezing it in ice cube trays, but I prefer larger containers. You could even use 1 or 2-cup canning jars and then warm the outside to slip them out and store in a freezer bag. I've done this with soup. Just make sure you leave about a 1/4 of an inch so that when you freeze it the stock has some room to expand a bit or the jar might break. Hope that helps!