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Eels; Jellied Recipe

A traditional London delicacy, consisting of eel pieces (on the bone) in a transparent jelly.

Ingredients

For 6 greedy people:

About 1 kilo/ 2 lbs of Eels of a medium to large size – so about 5cm/ 2 ins in diameter (ask your fishmonger to remove the heads, and chop them up into pieces of about 7cm/ 3 ins, as this isn't a pleasant thing to do at home. Failing this, put them straight in the deep-freeze to kill them, as they hang on to live persistently, which can be upsetting.

600ml/ 1 pint Fish Stock – this can be bought at supermarkets, but is cheaper (and better) if you use the recipe in our Recipe Section.

2 medium or 1 big Onion, skinned and finely-chopped
2 medium or 1 big Carrot, peeled and finely-chopped
2 sticks of Celery, finely-chopped
the juice and zest from a whole Lemon, being careful not to include any white pithe
1 Bouquet Garni – again these can be bought (perhaps from www.gourmetherbs.co.uk) or made using our Recipe Section
1 packet (about 15gr/ ½ oz) of powdered Gelatine or 2 Gelatine sheets
½ a whole freshly-grated Nutmeg, or ¼ of a teaspoon of the powdered variety
Salt & freshly-ground Pepper – to taste

Equipment needed: a stainless steel or glass flameproof casserole, wide enough to hold all the eel pieces in one layer

Method

Put the pieces of eel in the pan, and sprinkle them with the lemon zest and grated nutmeg - add the bouquet garni.

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Add the chopped vegetables, and the fish stock

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Bring this mixture to simmering-point and let it ripple for about 15 minutes, or until the eels feel tender when pierced with a sharp knife or thin skewer.

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Remove the eel pieces to a side dish, the strain the stock and allow to cool a little.

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Dissolve the gelatine in the juice from the lemon plus a little cold water if necessary

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When the gelatine has dissolved, heat it slightly and add it to the eel liquid.

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Season with salt and pepper, remembering that cold food will need extra seasoning.

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Pour this mixture over the eels, put it in the fridge, and allow it to set.

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