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Catfish Stew

GonnaSmoke

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Growing up my dad always made a white, milk based stew with butter and potatoes. The fish was never filleted because he thought that was wasteful so we always had to eat around the bones. Later in life at deer camps, I learned about red stews which are tomato based and because my wife doesn't care for white soups, stews, or chowders, I've gone in that direction. My wife is also spoiled in that she's never had to eat around fish bones so there's that. Traditionally, I've always boiled the fish first, but decided to go a different route this time and grill it so here we go...

Catfish fillets, including the belly meat(my favorite part), from a fish that weighed maybe 7-8 lbs. I'm guessing...
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Seasoned with coarse salt and cracked pepper. Into my fish basket and onto the grill over lump...
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Got it mostly done with some nice color...
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Since the grill was hot, decided to cook the onions and jalapenos on it to give even more roasted flavor to the stew. This is 3 medium yellow onions...
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Once all is charred and chopped, time to gather up the rest of the ingredients and assemble the stew...
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5 slices of thick sliced Wright Brand Hickory bacon sauted. The bacon was very lean so I added a teaspoon of bacon grease to the pot. Fry until the fat is rendered, but the bacon is not crispy...
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Next I sauted 2 stalks of chopped celery until mostly tender...
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Added in the chopped onions and jalapenos. Cooked for a couple more minutes...
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Then the fish which I had pulled apart some by hand...
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After all that has sauted for a couple of minutes, I added in the 28 oz. can of diced fire roasted tomatoes and a healthy dose of pepper. Let that come to a simmer stirring regularly...
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Most red catfish stews I've seen and eaten use tomato juice, but now it's time for my not-so-secret ingredient...
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Pour in the V-8 and bring back to a simmer, again stirring regularly...
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I let it simmer for maybe 10 minutes, stirring regularly, before I add the potatoes. That will continue to break up the catfish. After adding the potatoes, bring back to a simmer and cook uncovered until the potatoes are tender and the stew thickens slightly, continuing to stir regularly. I do it this way because I don't like the potatoes to be falling apart...
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I let people add their own hot sauce to their bowl so I don't add any to the pot. Time to eat...
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I made a pot of rice for those who prefer their stew with it, but I like mine without. Also had Texas Pete and Tabasco for those that like them. This stew is best after it sits overnight, but who's got time for that, right? :emoji_laughing:

This was my first time grilling the fish instead of just boiling it first. My friends said that they really liked the smokiness of the stew, but I couldn't really taste it all that much. If I boil the fish, I drain most of that water from the pot, but leave maybe a cup or so to help flavor the stew.

Any white fish will work with this recipe and I've made it using redfish, stripers, and Sheepshead, but they don't seem to add as much "fishy" taste to the stew as catfish does...

The ingredients...
  • ~4 lbs. catfish fillets grilled and pulled apart by hand
  • 5 slices of thick sliced bacon diced. Fatback or streak o' lean can be used but be aware of the salt they'll add
  • 8-9 medium potatoes peeled and cut into bite sized pieces. I used a combination of red and gold because that's what I had on hand
  • 2 stalks of celery diced. I use a potato peeler to remove the ribs before dicing because I don't like them
  • 5 jalapenos roasted, de-seeded and chopped. These were small peppers that my wife grew and really don't have much heat. Should've used more and/or left the seeds in
  • 3 medium yellow onions roasted and diced
  • 1 28 oz. can of diced fire roasted tomatoes
  • 1 64 oz. bottle of V-8 original. Can use the spicy V-8 or plain tomato juice
  • Coarse salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste. I did not add any salt to this stew, just a healthy dose of the pepper
 

tbern

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that grilled fish looks awesome and the stew looks delicious!!! thanks for sharing!
 

chopsaw

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I bet that was great . I'd have trouble saving the fish for the stew . Looks perfect coming off the grill .
 

JLeonard

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Looks great from here. Although, I don’t know how much of the grilled fish would make it to the pot!
Jim
 

chilerelleno

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That chowder looks mighty tasty.
I like seafood chowders in both New England (white) or New York (red).

I've a recipe for fish chowder (white) made with Redfish around here somewhere.

EDIT:
 
Last edited:

Colin1230

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That is one delicious looking stew. I love catfish but have never had it in a stew. Thanks Charles, for sharing this.
 

PulledPorkSandwich

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That's a very good-looking stew. I will definitely try it sometime. Thanks for posting the recipe. May I ask: Do you pull the fish off the grill early to avoid over-cooking it in the stew, or is that not a concern?

I ask because I go to a restaurant here that features what they call "Sopa Siete Mares", which contains fish, lobster, mussels, etc., in a red broth. Very tasty, but often some of the seafood is tough from over cooking.
 

mosparky

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With the cost of catfish around here, I might have to get back into catfishing. This looks very tempting. Good Job !!
 

checkdude

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Great looking stew. Ate my share of fish but never in stew. Sure looks mighty tasty and as mentioned above the fish coming from the grill would have a hard time making into the pot. Mabey make a lot more so there is enough left for the stew?
 

tx smoker

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That looks and sounds phenomenal. One of the best looking pots of soup I've ever seen. I'd go off the high dive into a pot of that my friend!!

Robert
 

TNJAKE

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Outstanding Charles. Now you got me thinking of a Cajun version using blackened catfish!
 

GonnaSmoke

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that grilled fish looks awesome and the stew looks delicious!!! thanks for sharing!

I bet that was great . I'd have trouble saving the fish for the stew . Looks perfect coming off the grill .

Looks great from here. Although, I don’t know how much of the grilled fish would make it to the pot!
Jim

Looks excellant

That looks so good. Thanks for sharing your recipe!
Thank you guys, I really appreciate it!
 

GonnaSmoke

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That chowder looks mighty tasty.
I like seafood chowders in both New England (white) or New York (red).

I've a recipe for fish chowder (white) made with Redfish around here somewhere.

EDIT:
Thanks John. I love New England style chowders, the wife...not so much...
 

GonnaSmoke

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That is one delicious looking stew. I love catfish but have never had it in a stew. Thanks Charles, for sharing this.

With the cost of catfish around here, I might have to get back into catfishing. This looks very tempting. Good Job !!

Great looking stew. Ate my share of fish but never in stew. Sure looks mighty tasty and as mentioned above the fish coming from the grill would have a hard time making into the pot. Mabey make a lot more so there is enough left for the stew?

I’m a fan of good white or red chowders. This looks great.
Thank you all for the compliments, they are much appreciated...
 

GonnaSmoke

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That's a very good-looking stew. I will definitely try it sometime. Thanks for posting the recipe. May I ask: Do you pull the fish off the grill early to avoid over-cooking it in the stew, or is that not a concern?

I ask because I go to a restaurant here that features what they call "Sopa Siete Mares", which contains fish, lobster, mussels, etc., in a red broth. Very tasty, but often some of the seafood is tough from over cooking.
Thank you for your thoughts. This was the first time I've grilled the fish before making the stew and I was trying to just get the flavor and color on the fish and not so much worried about getting it cooked, I knew that it would finish cooking in the pot.
 

GonnaSmoke

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That looks and sounds phenomenal. One of the best looking pots of soup I've ever seen. I'd go off the high dive into a pot of that my friend!!

Robert
Thank you Robert. It really was very good, at least to my taste buds...
Outstanding Charles. Now you got me thinking of a Cajun version using blackened catfish!
Thanks Jake. I really like that idea...:emoji_thumbsup:
AWESOME! Man I would tear that up!!! Good job!
Thank you Keith!!
 
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