Homemade Fish Broth Recipe – Mother Earth News

1 / 2

Mild-tasting fish such as haddock or flounder are ideal for this homemade fish broth. Salmon and mackerel are too fatty and too strong in flavor to work well as pressure canned fish.

Photo by Fotolia/Picture Partners

2 / 2

“Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry”, by Cathy Barrow, is a guide to storing everything from fruits and tomatoes to black beans and meats, filled with recipes for using what you make and clear, easy-to-follow instructions for give even novice curators confidence in their efforts.

Cover courtesy of WW Norton & Company

❮ ❯

  • 2h20


  • 20 mins


  • 2 hours


  • 7 quart jars


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 pounds (900 g) leeks, white and light green parts, coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 2 pounds (900 g) carrots, coarsely chopped (about 4 cups)
  • 2 tablespoons lovage leaves or 1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
  • 5 pounds (2.25 kg) of bones and heads (see main note)
  • 1 cup (8 oz, 235 ml) dry white wine or white vermouth
  • 4 quarts (64 oz, 3.8 L) cool, non-chlorinated water
  • 12 black peppercorns
  • 12 stalks of parsley
  • 2 dried bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • Heat oil in an 8-quart or larger pot over medium heat. Add the leeks, carrots and lovage and cook until tender and translucent but not browned, about 10 minutes. Increase the heat to medium, add the fish bones and sauté for 5 minutes, turning the bones frequently.
  • Cover the pan and steam for 5 minutes, then add the wine and cook until the wine simmers evenly. Add the water, peppercorns, parsley, bay leaf and thyme and increase the heat and bring the mixture to the edge of a boil, then lower the heat. (Do not allow the mixture to boil or the broth will turn cloudy and taste bitter.) Cover and simmer the broth gently for 1 hour.
  • Strain broth through a fine-mesh strainer lined with damp cheesecloth into another saucepan or large bowl. Pour the hot broth into the clean jars. Wipe the edges of the jar with white vinegar. Place the lids and rings on the jars and tighten the rings by hand.
  • Treat at 10 pounds of pressure for 20 minutes. Let the pressure drop and the pot cool before removing the jars.
  • Let the jars cool completely, about 12 hours, then test the seals. The aroma is stable for 6 months. For a twist on this fish broth, swap the fish bones for the shells of 4 dozen shrimp or 6 lobsters for a sublime seafood broth that adds a remarkable depth of flavor to fish stews and fruit risottos of sea.

    Want more pressure canning recipes? Find out how to make homemade broth.

    Reprinted from Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Handy Pantry: Recipes and Techniques for Year-Round Storage by Cathy Barrow. Copyright © 2014 by Cathy Barrow. Courtesy of the publisher, WW Norton & Company, Inc. All rights reserved. Buy this book in our shop: Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s practical pantry.


Learn how to store anything you might find at a farmers market – or in your own backyard – with the clear, easy-to-follow instructions in Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Handy Pantry (WW Norton & Company, 2014) by Cathy Barrow. Recipes for delicious ways to eat your stores are interspersed throughout with canning, smoking, salting, and pickling instructions, which progress from the simplest to the most complex recipes. The following homemade fish stock recipe is from Chapter 2, “Pressure Canning: Groceries You’ll Never Have to Bring Home Again.” Use this and our other canning resources to keep your pantry stocked with fresh foods all year round.

You can buy this book in the MOTHER EARTH NEWS shop: Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s practical pantry.

aroma, the fancy French word for fish stock, smells of the sea, in the best way. This is my go-to for seafood risotto, chowder and chioppino. It can be a bit tricky to get your hands on fish bones and heads, which is why you want to befriend your fishmonger. Mild flavored fish such as cod, plaice, whitefish, pike and haddock are suitable for this broth; fish like salmon and mackerel, with their high fat content and strong flavors, are not.

Posted on December 19, 2014


Previous Blue-green algae pose toxic risks in shrimp and fish farming
Next Rice-fish culture and its management techniques