800g assorted fish/fishbones.

½ small onion

½ small carrot

small piece celery.

1 green top of a leek

10g butter

1 fennel stalk (opt)

2-3 cloves garlic cut in half.

1 litre cold water

150ml dry white wine

1 bouquet garni (1 bayleaf, fresh thyme, fresh parsley, (tarragon opt))  


Serves: 1.5 litres approx.

Source:James Peterson



Check bones are fresh.

Remove gills, and any roe and viscera left.

Cut into 1" chunks and rinse very well to remove all blood and ensure bones very clean.


Peel and roughly dice onion, carrot and celery, cut leek tops into chunks.

Melt the butter in a large pan.

Sweat diced vegetables, leek top, fennel and garlic in butter for about 5 mins.

Add the bones, stir well over heat for about 5 mins.

Add water, pour in wine and simmer gently.

When stock simmers carefully skim off any scum.

Add bouquet garni and simmer about 40 mins.

Do not be tempted to over cook, the bones will impart a bitter taste.

Strain through a colander, let cool.

If required strain through a fine sieve (chinois).

Leave to cool.

Any sediment will drop to the bottom.

Carefully pour off the stock, leaving sediment behind, throw this away.

Freeze the stock in suitable containers.  

Selected recipes


22 February 09

This recipe makes a light flavoursome stock.

I leave out the fennel, that is just a personal preference.

It stores well in the freezer and is very useful if you cook fresh fish.


It is always best to use bones from white, non oily fish.

I use bones from brill, turbot, plaice that I have filleted for us.

These fish are often sold portioned so ask the fishmonger or fish counter if any are available.


The filleted flat fish is called a 'frame'.


you don't have the weight of bones in the recipe, adjust the other quantities accordingly.Be careful as to the amount of water added, or the stock will be weak in flavour.

If this occurs or you wish to make a stronger flavoured stock, gently reduce the strained stock in a shallow and wide pan if possible, until it reaches the consistency you need.