Fish Stew with Cod

The cod that you can buy at our fishmongers at The Company Shed in Mersea is as fresh and tasty as you'll find... and this Italian style fish stew is a great way to enjoy it. The tomato and peppers make a simple but delicious sauce and the cod can be added to the stew directly to cook, or fried and served on top at the last minute. Enjoy this with (a large glass of wine and) some paprika roasted potatoes or some freshly baked bread and a crispy green salad; you'll be in the territory of best-ever-suppers.


  • Cod fillet/s
  • 1 Onion
  • 1 stick Celery
  • 1 Red Pepper
  • Bay Leaf / Leaves
  • Oregano (fresh or dried)
  • 1 Large Clove Garlic
  • Pinch of Paprika
  • Parsley – stalks and leaves
  • 1 Red Chilli
  • 8 ish large Cherry Tomatoes
  • 1 tsp Tomato Puree
  • White Wine – half a mug
  • Water
  • Lemon (to serve)

Start off by finely chopping 1 Onion, 1 stick of Celery and 1 Red Pepper…

Heat a drizzle of Olive Oil in a large, heavy bottomed saucepan and when hot – add the chopped Onions, Celery and Pepper.  Add a Bay Leaf or two and a pinch of Salt

Very gently fry for 15 or so minutes until soft and sweet (but not too brown).  Stir lots and don’t rush this stage – it’s important for developing good flavour…

Meanwhile – finely crush or chop a big clove of Garlic, and very finely slice a Red Chilli (if you like a bit of heat).  Also wash and chop some Parsley stalks…

Wash and chop some Tomatoes too

When the Onions are softened, add the chopped Garlic, Chilli and Parsley to the pan, and stir for a few minutes over a medium heat before adding a big pinch of Paprika, a squirt of Tomato Puree, half a mug of White Wine and the chopped Tomatoes

Cook off the alcohol (stirring) for another few minutes before adding a mug of water and some chopped (or dried) Oregano (a teaspoon or two; Thyme would work too)

Bring the stew to a simmer and cook for 20 – 30 minutes or until the sauce is starting to thicken and smell sweet and delicious.  Add a crunch or two of Black Pepper and taste to season – it may need a pinch more Salt?!  A squeeze of Lemon at this point is also good…

[If, at any point during cooking, the stew looks too thick - just add some extra water.  You can serve it thicker or more like broth depending on how you prefer it...]

To cook the Cod fillet/s – you can either cut them up into medium sized chunks and add them to the stew for 5 – 8 minutes to simmer gently OR you can heat a saucepan with some Olive Oil and fry the seasoned Cod for 3 or 4 minutes on each side (skin side first) or until just cooked (I prefer this latter method – you can get the skin to go crispy and season the fish separately)

Serve immediately with some chopped Parsley leaves and a big wedge of Lemon.  Crispy Paprika Roasted Potatoes and a Crispy Green Salad are also delicious on the side

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