Lamprey Stew With Garlic Mashed Potatoes

READY IN: 2hrs 20mins


  • For Stew
  • 2
    lbs lampreys, cleaned, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch pieces (about three or four largish ones)
  • 2
    carrots, peeled and diced into medium size chunks
  • 1
    yellow onion, peeled and diced into medium chunks
  • 2
    stalks celery, diced into medium chunks
  • 2
    cups red wine (Burgundy, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon or Red Zinfandel are all good choices)
  • 2
    cups veal stock or 2 cups chicken stock
  • 2
    tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper
  • For potatoes
  • 2
    tablespoons butter
  • 1
    tablespoon minced garlic
  • 3
    tablespoons sour cream
  • salt and pepper


  • After catching and killing the fish, pop it into boiling water for a few seconds to help remove the slimy coating. Though a knife will often be all that's needed to scrape it away, any remaining vestiges can be rubbed off the skin with a rough cloth. Cut off the tail (usually about 6 inches long), then tie a string around the head and suspend the fish over the sink to drain the blood. Open bronchial holes on the side of the fish and allow the blood to empty Then, remove the intestines and notocordium (the long, dark bitter-tasting organ running down the abdomen). Rinse the fish again and then decapitate it by slicing around the body and pulling off the head. If you don't want crunchy lamprey, make sure the thick, bony cartilage comes out with the head. Discard both.
  • For the stew: Heat oil in a medium-size, heavy-gauge stock pot.
  • Add lamprey and vegetables, then sear until vegetables are tender.
  • Add the wine and reduce liquid by two-thirds.
  • Add veal stock and bay leaf; reduce heat and simmer for 2 to 3 hours.
  • For the potatoes: Boil potatoes until soft, then drain.
  • Place in a mixing bowl with the rest of the ingredients and mix with electric hand mixer until smooth.
  • Keep warm until ready to serve.
  • To serve: Season stew to taste with salt and pepper and serve on a bed of mashed potatoes.


“Lampreys (sometimes called lamprey eels due to their similar appearance) are a deeply underappreciated fish in the Americas and a delicacy in southwestern Europe (Portugal, Spain, and France) and Asia, costing consumers there upwards of $25/pound. It is quite inexpensive here if your angler has been successful. Lamprey is not exceptionally strong in flavor, with a cooked texture something like lobster -- chewy and meatier than most fish. Courtesy of Bob Bennett, Bennett's Bar and Grill, Duluth, Minnesota.”