Shellfish cassoulet

Shellfish cassoulet

More Home Comforts
Peter Cassidy

You can make this with a mixture of any shellfish, and you can include oily fish or fresh tuna. If you’re adding shellfish like mussels and clams, add them in the last 5 minutes to avoid overcooking. I cook this in a wood-fired pizza oven, but any heavy-based pot in a hot oven will do fine. You can even make it on a barbecue with a lid, which gives it an added smokiness. The combination of bread, fish and tomatoes tastes superb.


Quantity Ingredient
1 onion, roughly chopped
6 garlic cloves, crushed
200ml extra virgin olive oil
1 head fennel, roughly chopped
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
4 star anise
300ml white wine
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
a handful torn basil leaves
200g pureed brown crabmeat
1 small sourdough loaf, cut into small chunks
1 cooked small lobster, cut into pieces
3 x 75g cod or pollock fillets, skin on
1 mackerel, cut into large chunks
12 raw tiger prawns, shells on
1kg mussels
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to as high as it will go.
  2. Put the onion, garlic, 75ml of the olive oil, the fennel, fennel seeds, star anise and half the white wine into a large ovenproof sauté pan. Stir well, then place in the oven for 5–6 minutes until just softened. Remove and stir well, then mix in the tomatoes, half the basil and the crabmeat, and return to the oven for another 5 minutes.
  3. Meanwhile, put the chunks of bread into a roasting tray, drizzle with 50ml of the olive oil, toss to coat, then take the sauce out of the oven and put the bread in to roast for a few minutes until just browned.
  4. Add the lobster, cod or pollock, mackerel, prawns, mussels and the rest of the wine to the pan of sauce, then add lots of black pepper. Return to the oven for 8–10 minutes, or until the fish is cooked through.
  5. Scatter the croutons on top of the fish, then sprinkle the remainder of the basil over the top, and finish with the last of the olive oil.
  6. Serve in the cooking pot at the table.
Home Comforts
British food
classic recipes
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