Moroccan Conger Eel with Raisins and Onions
A specialty of Safi, which was where we got stranded late one night as William sat talking in a freezing warehouse with like-minded Moroccan conger eel fish-dealers.
The water was alive with phosphorescence, a beautiful evening quite foodless. If only they could have conducted business over a plate of conger eel.
It seems a weirdest and ridiculous combination of ingredients to us it’s worth trying, out of curiosity if nothing else. You’ll surprise.
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Serve it with warm Arab flatbread or pitta bread. Or, if you want a more substantial starchy accompaniment, boiled rice or even couscous.
Moroccans like their conger cooked far beyond what we would consider done, to the point where it begins to collapse down into the sauce. (See discuss on best-eating fish bones)
- 1-1.5kg (2 Â¼ -3 1/4lb) conger eel, cut into 6 pieces
- 500g (1 lb 2 oz) carrots, thinly sliced
- 500g (1 lb 2 oz) red onions, halved and sliced into thin semi-circles
- 250g (9 oz) seedless raisins
- 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 1 reaspoon ground cinnamon generours pinch of saffron strands
- 10 garlic cloves, chopped
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander
- 900ml (1 Â½ pints) water
- 110ml (4 fl oz) sunflower oil
- Preheat the oven to 200’C/400’F/Gas Mark 6. Drop the fish into boiling water and let it simmer for 4 minutes.
- Lift out and scrape off the skin with a thin-bladed knife.
- Remove the large central bones and as many smaller bones as you can.
- Make a bed of carrots in a lightly oiled flameproof baking dish.
- Place the conger on top and then strew over the saffron and some salt and sprinkle over, then scatter on the garlic and half the coriander.
- Add the water and oil, cover and bake for an hour, stirring occasionally.
- Transfer to the hob and boil the sauce for about 15 minutes to give a fairly thick, Stewie consistency. Taste and adjust the seasoning, scatter with the remaining coriander and serve.