Caldeirada de Enguias is a Portuguese and Galician fish stew consisting of a wide variety of fish and potatoes. Described as “a fish muddle that varies from town to town and depends on what the fishermen have managed to catch.”
Our version of Caldeirada de Enguias or Portuguese monster fish stew uses conger eel steaks and other white fish, whatever you fancy really.
My parents, owned an apartment on the Algarve for many years and the fish market on the sea front was well stocked with locally caught fish and shellfish. I can vouch that many of the fish for sale caught in deeper water were truly monsters and had lots of teeth!
And before you ask, no I never bought any, so I can’t tell you what they taste like.
Caldeirada de Enguias
- 6 medium onions chopped
- 8 cloves garlic crushed
- 2 large green peppers sliced
- 75 ml olive oil
- 60 g chopped flatleaf parsley
- a good pinch of saffron
- 450 g potatoes diced
- 2 bay leaves
- 12 peppercorns
- 4 large juicy ripe tomatoes chopped
- 75 ml tomato paste
- 500 ml dry white wine
- 250 ml water
- 450 g squid cleaned
- 25 clams or cockles
- 900 g oily fish like mackerel, swordfish or tuna
- 900 g white fish like conger eel, monkfish, hake or haddock
- 225 g large raw prawns
- 24 mussels
- freshly ground black pepper
- 30 g chopped fresh coriander
- Slowly sweat off the onion, garlic and green peppers in the olive oil for about 10 minutes. After sweating, cover to stew very gently for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. This breaks down the green pepper to a more palatable form.
- Add the parsley, saffron, potatoes, bay leaves, peppercorns, tomatoes, tomato paste, wine and water. Cover and simmer for ten minutes.
- Add the squid and clams or cockles and simmer for another ten minutes.
- Add the fish, prawns and mussels in layers. Don’t stir this as you’ll want the fish to cook in the broth.
- Sprinkle with a heavy dose of the black pepper, cover and cook for about ten minutes or until the fish is cooked through and the mussels and clams or cockles are open. Discard any that don’t open.
- Ladle the stew gently into vat-sized bowls and sprinkle with the chopped coriander.