Monkfish Stew

Matthew Fort's seafood stew with mussels and cream is laced with the distinct flavours of pastis and fennel
By Matthew Fort
Monkfish Stew
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 50 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 750 g mussels, live
  • 500 g monkfish, off the bone
  • 500 g potatoes
  • 2 bulb fennel
  • 55 g butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 140 ml white wine
  • 2 tbsp pastis, (Pernod or Ricard)
  • 140 ml double cream
  • 1 lemon


1. Clean the mussels, discarding any that float or won't close when tapped. Cut the monkfish into chunks about 2cm thick.

2. Peel the potatoes and cut into small cubes. Cut each fennel vertically in half and then cut each half into four. Trim off the feathery tops and reserve.

3. Melt the butter in a casserole, then add the onion and cook gently without colouring until soft.

4. Add the fennel, half the wine and a splash of Pernod and cook for 20-30 minutes. Then add the potato cubes and cook for another 10 minutes.

5. Meanwhile, heat the wine in a saucepan, add the mussels and cover with a tight-fitting lid. Steam until fully open. Discard any unopened ones.

6. Strain the juices into the casserole with the fennel and potato. Add the monkfish and the cream and return to the heat. Cook quite rapidly for 5 minutes.

7. Add the mussels (in their shells or out), a squeeze of lemon, season to taste and serve garnished with the feathery tops of the fennel.

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