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This eel recipe uses the crockpot although you could casserole in the oven if you prefer. Eel can be quite dry, so the longer cooking methods are better.
The tail of the eel is quite bony, so I would only use it for stock. The middle cuts are best and you skin before cooking.
Some people really do skin them alive - personally, I couldn't. What I do is, make an incision in the skin of the dead fish ;-) and then dip my fingers in salt - it gives you a little more 'grip' - then I pull the skin away.
You can use this method to skin any fish before cooking - it is easier to remove after cooking, but you may prefer not to have the skin at all.
Put the eel into a dish and pour over the lemon juice, oil, wine, onion and parsley - leave to marinade for an hour or so.
Put the eel and marinade into the slow cooker/crockpot.
Add the tomato.
Cook in the crockpot on Low for 4 to 6 hours.
Serve this with some crusty bread to mop up the juices.
If you catch European eels, then you're supposed to return them to the river alive. You can buy eels, but they're farmed. They don't breed in captivity, so what happens is, elvers (baby eels) are caught and then placed in large tanks where they grow into eating size. It's a strange business...
There are two types of eel, Conger and European and both are endangered. They are under conservation and there are strict guidelines as to how they are managed. In the UK, there are around 900 licensed eel fishing licences but quite a bit of poaching goes on! They breed once only before they die, so effectively any eels you catch are most likely juvenile and have not had a chance to spawn. The Cornish Fishing website has a lot of interesting information about sustainability.
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