Fisherman's Stew (Caldeirada)
Fish / Winter / Elisabeth Luard / Serves: 8

1.5kg mixed fish (ray, flounder, hake, cod, bass, eel, mullet)
500g squid
2 large onions
2-4 tomatoes
1kg potatoes
small bunch of fresh corinder or parsley
2 bay leaves
2 garlic cloves
2 glasses of white wine
2 glasses of water
4 tablespoons olive oil
500g (weighted shell on) clams of mussels
salt and pepper


Red and green peppers can be included. As can shrimps, scallops, or anything fishy and fresh.

The potatoes are not always present - they are sometimes replaced by slices of dry bread.

Crisp fried anchovies or sardines, or fried bread croutons, are sometimes served with the dish, laid alongside each portion.


European Peasant Cookery, Grub Street, 2004, Pg 26

Clean the white fish and cut them into slices if large. Cut the eel into short lengths. Rinse the gutted squid and cut the bunch of tentacles (which you keep) from the head (which you discard). Pull off the freckled mauve outer membrane from the hollow body, and pick as many as you can of the little sharp 'toenails' with which the suckers are equipped. Slice the body into rings and the tentacles into short lengths.

Peel and slice the onions. Chop the tomatoes. Peel and slice the potatoes. Chop the herbs and peel and chop the garlic. Find your largest and heaviest stew pan, and pour a little oil into the bottom.

Put the ingrediants into the stew pan in layers, adding salt and pepper and sprinkling in the oil and wine as you go. Lay half the onion rings on the base, then the potato and garlic, then half the tomatoes and a bay leaf, then the fish and squid, then the herbs, then the rest of the tomato and the other bay leaf, finally the remaining onion. Pour over the last of the oil, the wine and the water. Bring to the boil, and then turn it down. Stew very gently for 30-40 minutes, either inside or on top of the stove. Push a knife into the center to see if all, particularly the potato, is cooked and soft.

Meanwhile the rinse the clams of mussels in fresh running water. Lay them on top of the stew to open in the steam. When they have opened, it is ready.

Serve with a large ladle, keeping the layers separate.