Unlike meat-based stocks, fish stock is never simmered for more than half an hour, otherwise the fish bones break down and make the stock bitter. The ingredients are never expensive, but should be heads, trimmings and bones of white fish like cod, whiting or brill, or a mixture. Any fishmonger will be pleased to give you these. This recipe makes about 1.5 litres / 2½pt.
Put all the ingredients except the lemon juice into a saucepan together with 1.5 litres / 2½pt of water. Bring to the boil and skim.
Lower the heat and simmer for 20 minutes. Add the lemon juice and continue to simmer for a further 10 minutes. Strain and use at once, or allow to cool and then refrigerate for no more than 1 day.
© 1993 Alastair Little and Richard Whittington estate. All rights reserved.