Shane_O

Making Your Own Fish Stock with Striper Carcasses

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Posted (edited) · Report post

So I always save the heads and skeletons from my striped bass keepers to make stock with for late fall/winter chowders. But I’ve been wondering about PCBs and other pollutants that bioacumulate in the fattier parts of the fish which I usually include in my stock recipe. Does skimming off the fat make it safer? Should I just be throwing the bellies back into the surf? How do you do it?

 

I’ve been thinking of smoking the carcasses first to render off some of that fat first and add flavor, has anybody tried this?

 

Thanks for any input!

Edited by Shane_O
Had another questionn.

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10 hours ago, Shane_O said:

How do you do it?

I simply do not worry about it as personally I feel all of that is very overblown.

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1 hour ago, Reed422 said:

The fattier parts taste the best.

No doubt about that! I actually like to make sashimi out of striper belly. Collars and cheeks are great too. I’m just a little concerned because it’s about 4 whole fish carcasses being broken down into one batch of stock with all of the fatty parts included and getting rendered down, so I’d imagine whatever pcb’s etc. that were in them are being concentrated in the final product.

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2 mins ago, Shane_O said:

No doubt about that! I actually like to make sashimi out of striper belly. Collars and cheeks are great too. I’m just a little concerned because it’s about 4 whole fish carcasses being broken down into one batch of stock with all of the fatty parts included and getting rendered down, so I’d imagine whatever pcb’s etc. that were in them are being concentrated in the final product.

4 carcasses should go a long way.

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2 mins ago, Reed422 said:

4 carcasses should go a long way.

Certainly. One keeper bass frame is enough to make at least 4 quarts of finished stock. My suggestion is if you can split it into perhaps two separate batches. This way your worries of the PCBs are cut in half.

 

Bring the frames just to a simmer, (never boil!), turn down the heat, and skim off the protein scum from the top when it forms. Let it poach at just barely simmer for perhaps 90 minutes, if that long.

 

Remove the frames and heads with a spider, skim off any residue from the top, bring just to a boil and then lower to a a medium simmer and reduce by 1/3 or a bit more. Cool and store.

 

Also, after poaching the frames, take the time to remove the residual meat from the frame and the cheeks of the head. It makes awesome "tuna type salad" of fishcakes, and you will be surprised how much you get, even if you are good at filleting. ;)

.

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14 mins ago, Reed422 said:

4 carcasses should go a long way.

 

3 mins ago, Steve in Mass said:

Certainly. One keeper bass frame is enough to make at least 4 quarts of finished stock. My suggestion is if you can split it into perhaps two separate batches. This way your worries of the PCBs are cut in half.

 

Bring the frames just to a simmer, (never boil!), turn down the heat, and skim off the protein scum from the top when it forms. Let it poach at just barely simmer for perhaps 90 minutes, if that long.

 

Remove the frames and heads with a spider, skim off any residue from the top, bring just to a boil and then lower to a a medium simmer and reduce by 1/3 or a bit more. Cool and store.

 

Also, after poaching the frames, take the time to remove the residual meat from the frame and the cheeks of the head. It makes awesome "tuna type salad" of fishcakes, and you will be surprised how much you get, even if you are good at filleting. ;)

.

Thanks for the advice! I guess I have overdone it in the past resulting in a very potent stock (which I like for adding to sauces or pasta dishes as well). I’ll try it this way and stretch it into 2 batches, one highly concentrated and one “normal”.

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For storage, I run the concentrated stock thru a steel fine mesh strainer to remove any stuff the spider may have missed, and then put into 1 quart or 1 pint containers. And yes, it freezes fine, and for a long time.

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I avoid using striper racks for soup because of the contaminants.  I catch plenty of smaller fish that don't have the same concerns (in particular, sea robins make a great stock).  If you catch other fish, I'd go with those.  Just make sure you remove the gills, bleed the fish when caught, and soak the racks in water for about 20 minutes before you cook the stock (and discard that water) to rinse off any residual blood/guts.  Cook at a low temp for about 30-45 min and you'll get one awesome stock out of it.

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Posted (edited) · Report post

Anyone know what's the score on PCBs etc in tog? They're supposedly long lived.  I figure tog racks would make some tasty stock. What about porgy?

Edited by gellfex

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1 hour ago, Reed422 said:

According to WiKi the Japanese have the longest life expectancy and also eat the most fish. Shall I go on?

Yeah, but they were only nuclear bombed, they didn't have General Electric and their pals dumping dioxin,  pcbs and other fun stuff into their water for decades.

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17 mins ago, gellfex said:

Yeah, but they were only nuclear bombed, they didn't have General Electric and their pals dumping dioxin,  pcbs and other fun stuff into their water for decades.

They say bluefish have less pollutants as well as mackerel, you could use those.

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