Shellfish Stock & Reduction

MAKES 900ml


15 g (1/2 oz) unsalted butter
50 g (2 oz) carrot, chopped
50 g (2 oz) onion, chopped
50 g (2 oz) celery, chopped
350 g (12 oz) unshelled North Atlantic prawns, small crabs or shrimps
1 tablespoon cognac
2 tablespoon white wine
1 teaspoon chopped fresh tarragon
75 g (3 oz) tomato, roughly chopped
1.2 litres (2 pints) Fish Stock
A pinch of cayenne pepper


To make the stock:
1. Mel the butter in a large saucepan. Add the carrot, onion and celery and fry over a medium-high heat for 3 – 4 minutes.
2. Add the prawns, crabs or shrimps and the cognac and fry or a further 2 minutes.
3. Add the remaining ingredients, lower the heat, cover and leave to simmer for 40 minutes.
4. Strain the stock through a fine sieve, pressing out as much liquid as you can with the back of a ladle. It is now ready to use.

To make the reduction:
1. Liquidise the stock, in batches if necessary, before straining. Press the pulpy mixture through a muslin-lined sieve into a clean pan, pressing out as much liquid as you can.
2. Bring the stock to the boil, and boil rapidly until it has reduced to about 150 ml (5 fl oz). It is now ready to use.

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