A spiced and/or aromatic liquid or stock used mainly to poach fish and shellfish white meats or vegetables; court bouillon adds an extra layer of flavour that would be lacking if the product were cooked in plain water. Wine, vinegar, lemon juice, sliced onion, herbs or spices may sometimes be added or omitted as desired from the court-bouillon, which is usually prepared in advance and set aside to cool before using.

Makes 4½litre/8pts

1 large onion

4 stalks celery

1 leek

3 stalks lemon grass

3 cloves garlic

300ml/½pt white wine vinegar (may be omitted depending upon the final use)

4½litres/8pts water

55g/2oz sea salt

1 bay leaf

½oz coriander seeds 

 3 star anise

25g/1oz black peppercorns

Peel the onion and roughly chop. Roughly chop the rest of the vegetables and the lemon grass. Peel and chop the garlic. Combine these together with the vinegar, water and the remaining ingredients. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, allow to cool and strain. Store in the refrigerator until needed.

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