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Sedgemoor Eel Stew

Fish
Somerset

Eel pieces cooked in cider with cream and parsley. Served with bread sippets. (Grigson 1974)


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Sedgemoor Eel Stew
Ingredients

3 to 4 lb freshwater eel
dry cider
¼ pint double cream
4 tbs chopped parsley
salt and pepper
triangles of fried or toasted bread

Cut the eels into two inch lengths and season. Make a stock from the eel heads, skin and the flat part of the tails: Place the trimmings in a pan and cover them with half-water, half-cider. Bring to a boil and then cover and simmer for 20 minutes. Arrange the eel pieces in a shallow pan and pour over enough hot stock to just barely cover them. Gently poach the eels for 10-15 minutes depending on the girth of your eels until the eel meat starts to come away from the bones. Don’t let the stock come to a proper boil though - steady poaching is the key. When cooked, remove the eel pieces and arrange them on a serving dish, cover them and keep them warm. Now make the sauce by boiling down the cooking liquor to a good strong flavour and then add the cream and parsley. Season again if required. Pour the sauce over the eel and serve with the fried bread or toast.




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