We have never had a guest recipe on our blog before, and what a first one to have this is. Last week we had a live session over on Instagram with our friends from Tast Catala and in it their Head Chef Jano taught us how to make a Catalan classic: Suquet. Here’s the recipe he shared with us, we hope you love it as much as we did.
This traditional fish stew was originally prepared with fish leftovers – think head – in ships to feed their crew. With time it started winning the heart of the general population and today Suquet is a key dish in Catalan cuisine.
For the stew:
2 litres of fish stock
800g bone-in monkfish
800g new potatoes
4 garlic cloves
For the Picada:
Half a bunch of parsley
10g olive oil
10g sunflower oil
For the stock:
To start our Suquet we need to make our fish broth. Whenever you buy fish with bones, fresh prawns and any other fresh seafood don’t discard the heads or bones as these are perfect to make this broth. You can then always keep some in the freezer and have it ready for whenever you feel like having Suquet.
To make our broth we need to put the bones and heads in a casserole pot and cook them with some olive oil until golden. Remove them and save them for later. You’ll be able to see caramelised protein in the pot, an essential part of our broth which will provide us with great flavour.
We’ll now add the chopped onion and stir it a bit, then we turn down the heat so it doesn’t burn. Once it’s golden we add the chopped tomatoes and once cooked we add the bones and head once again and cover everything with water. Turn up the heat until it boils and simmer for 20 minutes; then pass it through a colander and simmer it once again until it reaches your desired level of flavour.
While the broth is cooking we can prep the Picada:
Fry the nuts in sunflower oil until golden, then dab-dry them with kitchen roll.
Chop the parsley and then put both nuts and parsley in a mortar. Grind really well and then add the extra-virgin olive oil.
Once we have both of the above ready we can start cooking our Suquet.
In the casserole pot add olive oil and cook our cubed monkfish. Season with salt and cook until golden outside but raw inside. Remove it and set aside.
Crush the garlic cloves with the knife blade and peel them. Add to pot and golden, then add the sliced chilli and peeled chopped tomato (remember to remove the seeds.) Cook for a couple of minutes and then add the potatoes, which we will have broken off with a knife (we do this so our stew has more starch). Stir and let it cook for a few minutes so all flavours combine.
Now we add the hot fish broth and cover all ingredients. Season with salt and pepper and once it boils let it simmer. If we see it needs more broth we simply add some and let it cook until the potatoes are done. Once the potatoes are cooked we smash some of them with the back of a spoon to thicken our stew. Add the Picada and stir.
To finish we turn off the heat, add the monkfish and mussels (and prawns if you’re using some) and cover the casserole pot. Our stew will finish cooking using the heat and steam already inside so our fish won’t overcook.
Jano, Head Chef at Tast Catala