This recipe is my take on the classic Canarian dogfish stew and you don’t have to skin the dogfish first!
If you fish around the coast in the UK you will be more than familiar with the lesser spotted dogfish.
If you want to eat them then you usually have to skin them first. Easier said than done, as I know from experience. My grandfather used to nail the fish to his shed door, lift the skin with a knife, and then pull it off in strips with a pair of pliers.
For true authenticity, you should use salted, hung and sun-dried strips of dogfish, known as ‘tollos’. The Canarians have traditionally used this method as a means of preservation.
Before cooking, tollos is soaked in freshwater for 24 hours to remove the salt. Canarians will now make ‘tollos de la abuela’ or Grandmothers dogfish. Served of course with ‘papas arrugadas’, wrinkly potatoes of course.
Canarian Dogfish Stew
For the dogfish
- 1 kg Dogfish freshly caught
- 4 cloves Garlic
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1 onion small, peeled
- Sea salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
For the stew
- 200 g Baby potatoes
- 1 Sweet red pepper
- 150 g Cherry tomatoes
- 2 tbsp Tomato puree
- 2 tbsp Olive oil
- 1 clove Garlic
- Sea salt
- Fresh Oregano chopped
- fresh flat-leaf parsley chopped
To prepare the dog fish
- Clean the dogfish and remove the head and fins with a sharp knife. Cut the dogfish into sections about 5cm long.
- Place the dogfish in a large pan of salted water with the garlic, bay leaf, the peeled onion, salt and black pepper. Bring to the boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 7-8 minutes. Remove from the heat, drain the dogfish with a skimmer, allow to cool for a while and then remove the skin which should peel away easily.
For the stew
- Cut the potatoes in half, de-seed the pepper and cut into pieces. Peel and crush the garlic and halve the cherry tomatoes.
- Heat a large saute pan over a medium heat, add 2 tbsp's of olive oil and when hot add the potatoes and toss to coat. Distribute evenly across the pan, and cook without stirring until browned on the bottom, 4-5 minutes. Turn and brown for 2-3 minutes more.
- Stir in the peppers and garlic and cook stirring for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes, tomato paste and 1 cup water. Reduce heat to medium-low, and bring to a simmer. Stir in the oregano, parsley and ¼ tsp salt.
- Cover and simmer for 7 minutes until the potatoes are just tender. While the potatoes simmer, season the fish with ¼ tsp salt. Add the fish pieces to the pan along with remaining 3/4 cups water, pushing pieces down into liquid as best as possible (add a little more water to just cover fish, if necessary). Simmer gently until fish is cooked through, about 5 minutes, turning fish only once, if necessary.
- Serve in bowls with crusty fresh bread to soak up the juices.
If you enjoy the Canarian dogfish stew than have a look at it’s big brother the bullhuss. Sold in British fish an chip shops as rock salmon.