Brill, squid and clam stew

Brill, squid and clam stew

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
500g brill fillet
250g squid
500g clams
1 onion
1 leek
1/2 fennel bulb
2 garlic cloves
6 plum tomatoes
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon sun-dried tomato paste
200ml white wine
600ml Fish stock
thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
small bunch flat-leaf parsley
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Skin the brill fillet and cut into large bite-sized pieces. Prepare the squid and cut the body into thick rings, about 2 cm. Scrub the clams and wash them several times in a large bowl of water. Refrigerate everything until needed.
  2. Halve, peel and finely slice the onion. Trim and finely slice the leek and fennel. Peel and crush the garlic. Blanch the tomatoes in boiling water for 10 seconds, then refresh in cold water, dry, peel and roughly chop.
  3. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan. Add the onion, leek and fennel and cook over a low to medium heat until soft and just starting to brown. Add the garlic and cook for a further minute. Add the sun-dried tomato paste, chopped tomatoes and wine and bring to the boil.
  4. Add the stock, thyme sprigs and bay leaf. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Meanwhile, roughly chop enough parsley leaves to give you 2 tablespoons. Season the sauce with sugar, salt and pepper. Stir in the clams and 1 tablespoon chopped parsley and simmer for 3 minutes.
  5. Add the fish and squid and simmer for a further 5 minutes, or until the fish is just cooked. When cooked, the brill and squid will have turned opaque and the clams will have opened. Discard any unopened clams. Take care not to overcook the fish.
  6. Adjust the seasoning, remove the thyme sprigs and bay leaf and sprinkle the remaining parsley over before serving. This is delicious served with toasted slices of French bread topped with rouille.


  • Simple bouillabaisse: Use a mixture of Mediterranean fish such as gurnard, grey mullet, red mullet, monkfish and mussels in place of the brill and clams. Retain the squid. Add a few saffron strands, a strip of finely pared orange zest and 25–50 ml Pernod with the wine.

    Quick fish cassoulet: Slice 6 derinded rashers of smoked bacon into strips and fry with the onion, leek and fennel. Proceed as for the main recipe and once the stock, thyme and bay leaf have been added, simmer for 20–25 minutes until the liquid has reduced a little. Add the clams and half the parsley and cook for 3 minutes, then add the fish and squid and a drained 400 g tin cannellini beans. Simmer until the fish is cooked and the beans are hot. To finish, fry 100 g fresh white breadcrumbs in 30 g butter until golden brown and crunchy, then sprinkle over the finished cassoulet with the remaining parsley.
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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