Caldero Murciano – Rice Stew with Fish, Murcia Style


      4 lbs (2 kg) fresh Mediterranean
      (red mullet, sea bream, scorpion
      1 whole bulb of garlic
      2 Nora pods or deseeded
      1 lb (500 g) tomatoes
      1 onion
      1 carrot
      Salt, black pepper

      1 pinch of saffron threads
      2 cups (350 g) short – grain rice


  • Clean and prepare the fish and put to one side, retaining the leftovers. 
  • In a mortar, crush the garlic and Nora pods, add a little water and mix to a paste. 
  • Put into a caldero, a large, cast iron stew pot, and  add 4 pints (2 l) of water. 
  • Skin the tomatoes, remove the seeds and cut the flesh into pieces; peel and quarter the onion; clean and slice the carrot. 
  • Put the vegetables and the fish leftovers into the pot and season with salt and pepper. 
  • Bring to the boil and simmer for about 60 minutes.
  • Pass the fish stock through a sieve. 
  • Rinse the pot, then  pour half of the fish stock back into it. 
  • Add the saffron. 
  • Bring the fish stock to the boil and cook the rice in it for just under  20 minutes to ensure that it stays very juicy. 
  • Serve the rice first.
  • Poach the fish in the remaining fish stock. 
  • Arrange on a plate and serve as a second course with garlic sauce.