How to make Shellfish stock

The Staff Canteen

Hello for this video we're going to look at a shellfish stock, in this instance we've got prawn shells, these are the shells and heads from around a kilo of prawns, similar recipe would work well for two small lobsters, one large lobster, one decent sized crab, we're going to go into our pan with a little bit of olive oil not too much and we're going to cook our prawn shells, they're raw shells so we just want to colour those up nicely, so just get a little bit more heat into the pan and in with our shells I've tried to make sure that the shells and reasonably dry so that is not too much liquid going into the pan we're going to put some more heat in there and what you'll start to see is that the shells start to change colour they're starting to go pink as they cook and you just want to get this so that the liquids evaporated the shells are all coloured and then the next step we're going to flame some brandy to go into this.

So my shells are getting there you've got this nice roasted shellfish smell coming off the pan and you can see that they've all turned pink now, the shells are pretty much cooked through, you want to be very careful that you don't burn the juices in the bottom of the pan, so we're going to take that off the heat now and I'm just allowing for the residual heat that's going on there so I'm just going to give that a little bit of a shake, just so that they don't overcook.

Now we're ready for our brandy, so I’m going to put my brandy into the ladle and then we're going to go over to the cooker and warm the brandy up and flame the brandy and that's just come up now, we'll just flame off the alcohol on that nothing dramatic but it just cooks out that raw alcohol and then we can come back and pop that into our pan, flames are still going in the pan that's fine that will get that nice toasty, cognac flavour into the shellfish stock, so that's reduced down again now, so it's really now about adding our aromatics to this, so I've got a mirepoix here of leeks, celery, fennel and onion fairly finely cut we're only going to cook this stock for about an hour so you don't want huge pieces of vegetables in there, so we're going to add those give those a stir in just to mix those around, about 75 mills of tomato passata, I think every chef's got their own preference on how they make stocks like this everybody will be a little bit different.

We've got some spices here fennel seeds, cardamom pods and star anise, the fennel seeds and the star anise in as is and I’m just going to crush the cardamom pots just so the little seeds come out of those and bruise them to get some of the aroma out, just one strip of orange zest I’m going to peel in there, we’ll have two that wasn't very big, couple of those cover it with water so just cold water going in now, we don't want to drown it just so it's just covered, it's really about just having enough water in there so that you can actually skin the stock and get rid of all the impurities.

So just give that a stir round so our stocks now come up to the boil and you can see there's quite a foam on top of it, so we're just going to skim some of this impurity off and then we'll be able to leave it to simmer now we just need to let that cook out.

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The Staff Canteen

The Staff Canteen

Editor 11th May 2017

How to make Shellfish stock