Cypress and Artisan Meat Share, Charleston, SC
This flavorful fumet serves as the base for Boot Camp alum Craig Deihl's Braised Wreckfish with Eggplant, Baby Squash, Tomatoes, and Crispy Squash Blossom.
Adapted from Cypress (GreenEarthBooks, 2009)
About 4 cups
- 5 pounds fish bones, gills removed
- 3/4 cup chopped onion
- 3/4 cup chopped leeks
- 1/2 cup chopped celery
- 1/2 cup chopped carrots
- 1/4 cup chopped fennel
- 1 garlic head, halved
- 10 thyme sprigs
- 10 white peppercorns
- 5 sprigs of parsley
- 4 bay leaves
Wash the fish bones under cold water to remove excess blood and protein. (Note: you can soak them in salt water overnight to remove even more blood.) Place the bones in a stockpot and fill the pot with enough water to cover the bones.
Add the onions, leeks, celery, carrots, and fennel, along with the garlic, thyme, peppercorns, parsley, and bay leaves to the stockpot. Place the stockpot over medium-low heat and bring to a simmer. As the water begins to simmer, a scum will start to form at the top; remove the scum by skimming with a ladle or large spoon. Never bring this stock to a boil, as it will lose all clarity. Pull the stockpot slightly off the heat; this will allow a slow convection of heat in the pot that moves the scum to one side of the pot for easy removal. Continue skimming frequently. Cook the stock for at least 2 hours.
Remove the stockpot from the heat and allow it to cool slowly. Strain the stock through a chinois into another large stockpot. Place the stockpot with the strained stock back on the stove over medium heat and bring it to a simmer. Continue to skim the scum and fat off the top. Allow the stock to reduce by one-third.
Remove the pot from the heat and place it in an ice bath. When the stock is cold, place it in small containers and refrigerate it for up to 1 week or freeze it for up to 4 months.