Pike is one of those awkward fish that are difficult to cook as their flavour and texture are somewhat limiting. In the lakes of Lombardy they are plentiful and are cooked in this flavourful stew with red wine and vegetables. The recipe works with any rich, meaty fish – tuna is ideal, and does not have the awkward little bones of a pike.
Wash the pike and remove as many scales as possible drawing a knife down it. Leave to drain.
Heat the butter and oil in a flameproof casserole, add the vegetables and fry until soft. Coat the fish with flour, add to the vegetables and cook until brown all over. Pour over the wine and season thoroughly. Cook over a high heat for 5 minutes to evaporate the alcohol, then add the water. Cover and cook over a gentle heat for 1 hour. Carefully remove the fish and lay it on a warm platter. Sieve the vegetables in the casserole and pour the resulting smooth sauce over the fish. Serve at once.
© 1995 Valentina Harris. All rights reserved.