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Fish stew with saffron potatoes

Published on January 10, 2019
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Matt Rutter, head chef at The Rising Sun in Lynmouth, shares his recipe for fish stew with saffron potatoes

Fish stew with saffron potatoes

Serves 6

You will need

For the saffron potatoes

White onion 1, thinly sliced
Garlic 3 cloves, finely diced
Thyme 3 sprigs, chopped
Butter 100g
Saffron a pinch
New potatoes 18, peeled
White wine 300ml

For the shellfish bisque

Crab or lobster shells 2kg
White onions 2, chopped
Carrots 4, peeled and chopped
Celery 1 head, trimmed and chopped
Fennel 4, chopped
Garlic 6 cloves, chopped
Lemongrass 3 stalks, chopped
Fresh ginger 150g, peeled and chopped
Star anise 6
Coriander seeds 20
Saffron a pinch
Thyme 8 sprigs
Tomatoes 6, quartered
Tomato puree 4 tbsp
Brandy 500ml
Fish stock 5l
Basil bunch, chopped
Bay leaves 6
Double cream 500ml

To serve

Mushrooms diced
Salmon 500g, skinned and boned, cut in 12 portions
White fish 500g, skinned and boned, chopped into small pieces
Tiger prawns 18, uncooked, shells reserved for bisque
Scallops 12, uncooked
Mussels or clams 30, uncooked, washed
Spinach 450g
Parsley bunch, chopped
Chives bunch, chopped
Lemon 1, juiced


  1. For the saffron potatoes: sweat the onion, garlic and thyme in the butter over a medium heat. Add the saffron and stir to infuse before adding the potatoes, white wine and salt. Simmer for around 20 minutes or until the potatoes are cooked. Allow to cool in the liquid and then drain and set potatoes aside.
  2. For the shellfish bisque: roast the crab or lobster shells and reserved prawn shells in the oven for 20 minutes at 180°c / gas 4.
  3. Sweat the onion, carrots, celery and fennel with a little oil in a heavy-based pan. Once soft, add the garlic, lemongrass, ginger, star anise, coriander seeds, saffron, thyme and tomatoes and stir. Next add the roasted shells and tomato puree and stir again.
  4. Deglaze the pan with the brandy and reduce by half. Add the fish stock and basil, bring to the boil and simmer for 2½ hours, skimming any impurities from the top. Pass the bisque through a fine sieve, keep the liquid and reduce over heat to around 3 litres. Add the cream and reduce again to around 2 litres.
  5. To assemble: bring the bisque to the boil and add the saffron potatoes. Add the salmon, cook for 1 minute and then add the white fish and cook for a further minute. Add the scallops, prawns and mussels and cook for another minute. Finish with the spinach, parsley and chives and season with salt and lemon juice. Serve with crusty bread.

Chef’s tip: ‘Serve sharing style from a big pot in the centre of the table,’ says Matt


As featured in food Magazine’s Winter 2019 issue. 

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