Middle Eastern fish stew

Serves: 4
Course: Main
Cooking Time: 50 mins
  • 4tbs olive oil plus more for brushing
  • 2 red onions, peeled, halved and thinly sliced
  • 2 bay leaves, fresh if possible
  • 1tsp (heaped) ras al hanout
  • Half tbs harissa
  • 1tbs tomato purée
  • 1tbs golden brown sugar
  • 2tbs red wine vinegar
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 300ml chicken stock
  • 4 fillets of gurnard, bones removed (about 140g each)
  • 60g pine nuts, toasted
  • Chopped flat-leaf parsley

1 Put the oil, onions and bay leaves into a pan and slowly cook until softened.

2 Add the ras al hanout, harissa and tomato purée and continue to cook for another minute or two.

3 Add the sugar and vinegar, bring to a bubble, add the salt, pepper and stock, then bring to a simmer and cook gently for five minutes to reduce a little. (You can do this ahead of time, then warm the mixture up when you need it.)

4 Preheat the oven to 185 degrees

5 Brush a casserole dish with a little olive oil.

6 Season the fish, then lay them in the casserole, skin side up.

7 Spoon the onion mixture over the gurnard and bake it for 12-15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish.

8 Serve with some basmati rice and a scattering of pine nuts and parsley.

Paul Flynn

Paul Flynn

Paul Flynn is a chef, restaurateur and contributor to The Irish Times. He and his wife, Máire, run the Tannery restaurant and cookery school in Dungarvan, Co Waterford