Fish stock

2-1/2 pounds fish bones*
2 Tbsp sweet butter
1 medium onion, peeled and sliced
2 to 3 stalks celery, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup parsley stems
1 leek, cleaned and sliced
2 bay leaves
1/4 teaspoon thyme
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, crushed (mignonnette)
1 teaspoon salt
1-1/2 cups dry white wine
3 quarts water

  • Place the butter in a large skillet or kettle and add the fish bones.
  • Steam on medium to high heat for 3 to 4 minutes, stirring with a wooden spatula.
  • When the bones begin to fall apart, add the onion, celery, parsley stems and leeks, and mix well.
  • Steam for another 35 to 40 minutes, stirring.
  • Add all the other ingredients and bring to a boil.
  • Boil on high heat for 35 to 40 minutes.
  • Strain through a fine sieve.
  • You can freeze the fish stock and use it for soups, or thicken it with a roux so it becomes a velouté, as well as reducing it to a glaze and finishing it with cream and butter.

* Preferably the bones of flat fish such as sole, flounder, fluke, etc.  If fish heads are used, be sure to remove the gills and wash the bones carefully under cold water or the fish stock will be bitter.

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