Brudet is a fish stew of humble origins. Fishermen used to prepare it to use up left over catch that they didn’t manage to sell. So whatever didn’t go at the market, ended up in the pot.
One of my favourite brudets is my mum’s dark and rich, unctuous sauce you can see above. It’s made with cuttlefish, and served with warm polenta.
SOURCE: My mum’s recipe
PREPARATION TIME: 10 – 15 min
COOKING TIME: 40 – 60 min
CUISINE: Croatian (Dalmatian)
SERVES: 6 – 8
6 medium yellow onions, chopped finely
2 large carrot, grated
1.5 kg cuttlefish, cut into pieces
1/2 medium head of garlic, cloves chopped finely
a small handful of parsley, chopped finely
a bit of chopped celery leaf
1/2 tbsp tomato pure
2 dl white wine
5 – 6 bay leaves
1. Fry the onions for a little in some vegetable or olive oil. Add grated carrots. Fry the carrot and onion mixture, stirring occasionally, until it becomes soft, and the onions become slightly browned. Be patient, as this can take a while. Please don’t be tempted to do this quickly, this is important, and it will form the base of the stew, in which the onion acts as a thickening agent.
2. Now add the cuttlefish, and stir. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cuttlefish is cooked, and the onions start melting into the sauce. Add water if it starts sticking.
3. Add the garlic and the herbs, some salt and pepper, and keep stirring.
4. When the onion is softened, and starts disintegrating into the sauce (or a little before that if you’re in a hurry), add a little more water,and when the water evaporates, and some more to form a thick sauce. The herb and the garlic will still taste a little raw. Continue cooking until the flavours deepen and mellow together. The cuttlefish will become soft, too.
5. Towards the end of cooking, add the white wine and the bay leaf, adjust the seasoning, and cook for another 5 – 10 minutes.
Serve warm with polenta. Also good with crusty bread!
My dad likes a drizzle of olive oil over his brudet. Give it a go if you fancy it.
Note: Squid also works in this recipe.
ps. Also try some warm polenta with yoghurt! I love it!
I’m submitting this to this week’s Weekend Herb Blogging event, hosted by Anna of Anna’s Cool Finds. This event, originally started by Kalyn of Kalyn’s Kitchen, is organised by Haalo of Cook Almost Anything.