Bourride

Bourride is far simpler to prepare than its more famous relative bouillabaise and, for me, its simplicity makes it more appealing. Marius Morard in his Manuel complet de la cuisinière provençale (1886) declares the true name to be aïoli-b our ride, drawing attention to the composition of the dish. (He also claims that the invention of aïoli should be attributed to Virgil.) If possible, have three or four kinds of white sea fish for bourride: bass, turbot, brill, monkfish, gurnard, sea-bream or conger eel.

Ingredients

  • 1–1½ kg(2–3 lb) fish on the bone
  • 1 wineglass dry white wine
  • white part of a leek, sliced
  • a bay leaf
  • a head of fennel seed
  • a strip of orange peel
  • a few sprigs of thyme
  • parsley stalks
  • salt, milled pepper
  • 4–5 egg yolks
  • 2–3 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 275 ml(½ pt) olive oil
  • 1 stick of celery
  • slices of toasted French bread
  • finely chopped parsley

Method

Fillet the fish, remove the skin and cut the flesh into chunks and thick slices.

Make a court-bouillon by simmering the heads and bones of the fish with a little over 1 litre(about 2 pt) water, the wine, leek, herbs and orange peel for 10–15 minutes.

Meanwhile prepare the aïoli with 2 of the egg yolks, garlic and olive oil. Strain the court-bouillon into a pan, add the celery and season lightly. Poach the fish, starting with the thicker, denser pieces but do not overcook. Transfer the drained, cooked fish to a hot serving dish.

In another pan, whisk half the aïoli with the egg yolks and 275 ml(½ pt) of the fish stock until it just thickens.

Arrange 2–3 slices of toast in each dish, place some fish on top and pour over the yellow sauce. Sprinkle with a little chopped parsley and serve with plain boiled potatoes and the remainder of the aïoli.

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