Eel casserole

To complement the richness of eel, Matt Tebbutt combines it with the fruitiness of apples and cider in this unusual casserole
By Matt Tebbutt
Eel casserole
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

  • knob butter
  • 2 onions, sliced
  • 1 eel, on the bone, about 1.2kg, cleaned, sliced into 3cm chunks
  • plain flour, sesoned, for dusting
  • 2 apples, such as granny smith, cox or other sharp-tasting apple, peeled, cored and chopped into chunks
  • 300 ml good quality still cider
  • 200 ml chicken stock
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 100 ml double cream
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • chopped chervil and chives, to garnish

Tips and Suggestions

If you have trouble finding fresh eel, it can be bought online from The Fish Society.

Still cider is a smooth cider without the fizz.

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 140C/fan 120C/gas 1.

2. Heat a knob of butter in a heavy-based casserole dish. Tip in the sliced onions and fry until soft and translucent, about 5-8 minutes. Dust the pieces of eel in a little flour, shaking off any excess, then lay them in the pan. Turn up the heat slightly and fry until the eel is coloured. Put in the chopped apple and continue to fry until softened slightly. Pour in the cider and stock, then drop in the bay leaf and thyme sprigs. Season and bring to the boil, then cover with a lid or piece of foil and transfer to the preheated oven. Cook for 30-45 minutes or until the eel is tender and the sauce has reduced a little.

3. Transfer the casserole from the oven to the hob. Pour in the cream, bring the mixture back to a simmer and cook for a few minutes to thicken the sauce slightly. Stir in the mustard, taste and adjust the seasoning with salt and pepper as necessary, then serve garnished with the herbs.

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