Bourride (Fish Stew with Aioli)

A French fish stew without the fuss

Bouillabaisse has always taken center stage as the fish stew of Provence. Well, let us introduce you to its less fussy cousin: bourride.

It doesn't have Pernod or saffron. Or, perhaps more importantly, the never-ending rules of what fish to use and what not to use. Bourride is easier to make and, in many ways, more satisfying.

The stew is made up of a simple fish broth that's thickened with garlicky aioli and served over crusty bread with a dusting of parsley. Do like the French do and put out some extra aioli on the side.

Then all you need is a glass of Pastis.

To learn more, read "Marseille It Ain't So."

Recipe from the Tasting Table Test Kitchen

Bourride (Fish Stew With Aioli)
5 from 2 ratings
Learn how to make bouillabaisse's less fussy cousin: bourride.
Prep Time
1
hour
Cook Time
1.33
hours
Servings
6
servings
Total time: 2.33 hours
Ingredients
  • For the Fish Broth
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 pounds fish bones
  • 1 yellow onion, quartered
  • 1 medium leek, halved lengthwise and roughly chopped
  • 6 parsley stems, leaves picked and reserved
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  • 1 fresh bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon white peppercorn
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 quart water
  • Salt, to taste
  • For the Aioli
  • 3 cloves garlic, smashed into a paste
  • 2 egg yolks, at room temperature
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Espelette pepper
  • 1½ cups extra-virgin olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • For the Stew
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • ½ cup finely diced fennel
  • ½ cup finely diced yellow onion
  • ½ cup finely diced celery
  • ½ pound small fingerling potatoes
  • 2 pounds of monkfish, cut into 1-inch chunks
  • Six ½-inch slices of French-style country bread, toasted, plus more for serving
  • ⅓ cup finely chopped parsley, for garnish
  • Espelette pepper, for garnish
  • Aioli, for serving
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Directions
  1. Make the fish broth: In a large pot over medium heat, add the olive oil. When the oil is hot, add the fish bones, onions, leeks, parsley stems, thyme, bay leaf, white peppercorn and fennel seeds and cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 5 minutes. Add the white wine and cook until it has reduced by half, about 5 minutes. Add the water and bring to a simmer for 40 minutes, making sure the broth does not come to a boil. Meanwhile, finely chop the reserved parsley leaves and set aside. Strain the broth; remove and discard the solids. Season with salt and set aside.
  2. Make the aioli: In a medium mixing bowl, whisk together the garlic, egg yolks, lemon juice, Dijon and Espelette pepper. Very gradually whisk in the oil, whisking constantly, until all of the oil is incorporated and the mixture is thick and well emulsified. Season with salt and set aside until ready to use.
  3. Make the stew: In large sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the oil. When the oil is hot, add the fennel, onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally until tender but not caramelized, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
  4. Heat the fish broth in a large saucepan. Add the potatoes and cook until almost tender, about 15 minutes. Add the fish and cook until the fish is cooked through, about 8 to 10 minutes. Remove the potatoes and fish using a slotted spoon and divide among 6 soup bowls with the toasts. Whisk half the aioli into the broth and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture has slightly thickened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Place a piece of toast, topped with some fish and a few potatoes, in each bowl. Ladle the broth over the top; garnish with cooked vegetables, parsley and Espelette pepper. Serve hot with the remaining aioli and additional toasts.
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