Ask your fish shop for the bones and heads of medium-size fish—anything trimmed or fileted that day. The secret to this rich stock is roasting the vegetables and fish before putting them into the stockpot.
- 2 onions
- 4 carrots
- 4 stalks celery
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- Bones and heads of 4 medium-size fish
- 1 bottle dry white wine
- 6 whole peppercorns
- 1 large bouquet garni (4 sprigs parsley, 2 sprigs thyme, and a bay leaf, tied with kitchen twine or placed in cheesecloth)
Coarsely chop onions, carrots, and celery. Preheat oven to 350°. Melt butter in a roasting pan, then add vegetables and fish trimmings. Roast for 30 minutes.
Transfer to a large pot, add wine, peppercorns, bouquet garni, and salt to taste. Add 4 quarts water and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to a gentle simmer and cook 2-3 hours. The stock should reduce by half.
Strain, discarding all solids. Then strain several more times though a coffee filter or cheesecloth. You should end up with 8 cups of richly flavored stock, ready to use. It will also keep, frozen, for up to 6 months.