Jellied eels are an integral feature of London’s pie and mash shops, many housed in Victoriana, and despite the collapse of eel fisheries across Europe it is still possible to eat this wonderful delicacy in jellied eel shops across the English capital.
1 kg eels, peeled, gutted 600 ml water/fish stock 3 onions, sliced 3 bay leaves 30 g sea salt, coarse 5 g sea salt, crushed 30 ml white wine vinegar 1 lemon, juiced Black peppercorns, handful Carrageen, handful Carrots (optional) Celery (optional) Herbs (optional) Nutmeg, grated (optional)
Spread the eels in a bowl with the coarse sea salt, leave for ten minutes, then rinse the salt off.
In a large saucepan, bring the bay leaves, eels, onions, peppercorns, salt and vinegar to the boil, turn heat to low and simmer until the eels are tender, about 30 minutes.
Remove the eels, leave to cool.
Reduce the remaining stock by two-thirds. Strain, add carrageen and lemon juice, reduce until the seaweed has melted. Strain again and leave to cool.
Cut the eels into the desired sizes, place in jars with the stock, the cooked onions and peppercorns on top. Put in fridge or a cold place to set.
For a richer flavour use a fish stock and add herbs, spices and vegetables.
The Jellied Eel
Not for eating, just for reading about sustainable food in London that could not be more traditional.
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