Legendary Dishes | La Pôchouse Verdun-sur-le-Doubs (freshwater fish stew)

FRANCE

The original pochouse stews were made with a selection of fish from the Doubs and Saône rivers – burbot, carp, catfish, eel, gudgeon, perch, pike, roach, tench and trout.

  • 2 kg freshwater whole fish
  • 400 ml dry white wine (Burgundy Aligoté)
  • 400 g onions, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 10 g butter
  • 1 bouquet garni (bay leaf, celery, thyme)
  • Salt, pinch
  • Pepper, large pinch

Sauce

  • 150 ml cream
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 30 g butter
  • 30 g flour

Accompaniments

  • 1 kg potatoes, scrubbed, cooked whole
  • 350 g (6 slices) crusty white bread
  • 4 cloves garlic, crushed
  • Salt, for boiling potatoes

Wash fish, top and tail (retain pieces), cut into large chunks. Melt the butter in a deep frying pan, gently sauté garlic and onions for ten minutes, add fish heads and tails, bouquet garni, wine, seasonings, cover and cook for 30 minutes. Rub garlic into bread, leave aside for later. Cook potatoes in salted water. For the sauce, soften the butter with a fork, stir in the flour and work into a smooth paste. Keep cool. Heat a serving bowl in a low oven. Sieve the stock from the frying pan into a large pot, reduce for 10 minutes. Turn down heat, add the roux and stir vigourously with a wooden spoon. Poach the fish pieces in the sauce for 15 minutes. Remove with a slotted spoon into preheated bowl, and place back in oven. Carefully stir the cream, egg yolks and more seasonings into the sauce, bringing up the heat. Toast garlic bread under grill. Do not brown. Drain potatoes. Pour sauce over fish and serve with garlic bread, potatoes and Burgundy wine.