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    This is one of the greatest of all French dishes, traditionally made with a mixture of small Mediterranean rockfish that the Marseilles fishermen find in the bottom of their nets. Here I have used larger fish but you can make this recipe with good results using almost any firm-fleshed fish.

    • Preparation time: 30 minutes
    • Cooking time: 45 minutes
    • Total time: 1 hour 15 minutes 60 minutes 15 minutes

    Serves: 6


    • 450g fresh mussels, bearded and washed
    • 450g red snapper, headed, scaled, gutted and cut into 4
    • Cayenne pepper
    • 1 large onion, sliced
    • 4 cloves garlic, halved
    • 450g plum tomatoes
    • 1 fennel bulb, sliced
    • 2 sachets Barts Spices Saffron
    • 2 sprigs thyme
    • 1 bayleaf
    • 1 sage leaf
    • Salt
    • 100ml olive oil
    • 300ml dry white wine
    • 4 medium potatoes, cut into 5mm thick slices
    • 450g pink sea bream, headed, scaled, gutted and cut into 4
    • 2 red mullet, scaled, gutted and cut in half
    • 1 monkfish tail, skinned and cut into four


    1. In a large saucepan, sweat all the vegetables (except the potatoes), herbs and spices in the olive oil for 5 minutes. Add the wine and reduce by half.
    2. Layer the potatoes on top of the vegetables and scatter the fish on top. Add enough water to just cover and bring to the boil for 2 minutes. Skim.
    3. Cook just under simmering point for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Add the mussels, raise the heat a little and cook for 4 minutes or until they are open. Discard any unopened shells.
    4. Place the cooking pot on the table for everyone to help themselves. Accompany with some aïoli mixed with a little chilli, and croutons made from French bread brushed with olive oil and garlic and crisped in the oven.

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