The Aegean Kakavia (or beautiful fish stew) from Jamie Oliver’s visit to Greece in Jamie Does is a simple, yet richly flavorful recipe–the simple ones usually are. Jamie says in the book that the fishermen make this stew at sea, using salt-water for stock. I used vegetable stock as suggested, but I have also used seafood stock which comes out really nice too. As for the fish, in the many times I have recreated this recipe, I have used fresh haddock, hake and flounder, so my recommendation would be to use fresh, wild and sustainably sourced fish.
2 onions , peeled and roughly chopped
4 sticks celery, trimmed and roughly chopped
5 cloves garlic, peeled and roughly chopped
3 beef tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 lb. potatoes, peeled and cut into 1″ chunks
3 bay leaves
4 cups organic vegetable stock
freshly ground black pepper
1.5 lbs. fresh fish fillets (boned and scaled), from sustainable sources
1 small bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
1 small bunch fresh dill, roughly chopped
Greek extra virgin olive oil
1 loaf rustic bread , to serve
- Heat a good lug of olive oil in a large pan on a medium heat. Add the onions and celery and cook for 5 minutes, then add the garlic and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until soft but not coloured.
- Add the tomatoes, potatoes and bay leaves and pour in the stock. Season lovingly with salt and pepper and bring it all to the boil. Reduce to a low heat and simmer for 15 minutes. At this point, add your fish fillets and bring back to the boil, then reduce to a medium-low heat and simmer for a further 15 minutes, until the potatoes are tender and the fish is cooked through and flakes apart. Stir in the lemon juice and herbs, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil, then have a quick taste to make sure you’ve got a good balance of acidity, freshness and seasoning and serve with chunks of rustic bread.