Small-Spotted Catshark with Tomatoes

Once in a while your fishmonger will have small-spotted catshark, also known as lesser-spotted dogfish or rock salmon. Popular in Portugal (pata-roxa), less so in many other countries. It’s a very common shark, not endangered, it doesn’t have bones (sharks have a cartilaginous skeleton), it’s tasty and the texture of the meat is moist and pleasant. So why isn’t it more often on our menu?

We think the taste is very delicate so be careful withs herbs and spices. The structure of the meat made us think of monkfish. We know that some chefs compare catshark with sea eel, but that’s a big mistake as far as we are concerned. Catshark is much more refined.

Skinning a catshark requires special equipment, so the shark on sale is already skinned and cleaned, making it even more easy to prepare.  It looks a bit like a tube, long and round. Cut in chunks and start cooking!

Wine Pairing

The flavour and aroma of this dish are gentle. A not too complex, dry white wine with some acidity or a Provence rosé will be great with the cat shark stew.

What You Need

  • 200 grams of Small-Spotted Catshark
  • 2 ripe Tomatoes
  • 1 Red Bell Pepper
  • 1 Shallot
  • 1 Garlic Glove
  • Capers (in Brine)
  • A few Small Black Olives
  • Bouquet Garni (Thyme, Bay Leaf, Parsley)
  • Black Pepper
  • Olive Oil

What You Do

Clean the bell pepper, cut in large chunks and grill for 10 minutes until charred. Transfer to a small container, close it and leave for a few hours. Remove the skin of the bell pepper and dice. Clean the tomatoes, remove the seeds and dice. Chop the shallot and the garlic. Heat a pan, add olive oil and fry the catshark for a few minutes. Remove from the pan and keep warm in the oven at 50 °C or 120 °F. Add the shallot, fry gently on reduced heat, add the garlic, wait for one minute, add the tomatoes, half of the bell pepper and the bouquet. Allow to simmer for 5 minutes. Add the shark to the pan and allow to stew for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of the fish. Five minutes before serving add the olives and the capers. Remove the bouquet.

Small-Spotted Catshark ©cadwu
Small-Spotted Catshark ©cadwu

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