The Stewart Family Chowder

  • The Stewart Family Chowder

The Stewart Family Chowder


Yields 3 litres


Bronwen Stewart was brought up on a farm in the Hawkes Bay and this was her mother’s recipe, who was an extremely good cook.  Bronwen thinks her mother got it from the primary school teacher’s wife’s sister.  The sister lived in Canada and the original version used North Atlantic cod.  I like to use groper or blue cod.



25g butter

80g (2-3) bacon rashers (diced)

500g (2) large onions (diced)

1 bay leaf

21g (3 tbsp) flour

650g (2) potatoes (diced)

170g (2-3) stalks celery (finely diced)

1 tsp freshly ground white pepper

1.25 l (5 cups) water

250ml (1 cup) milk

250ml (1 cup) cream

700g firm flesh white fish (cubed)

¾ cup finely chopped Italian parsley

1½ tsp Maldon sea salt




Melt butter in a heavy based saucepan over a medium heat.

Add bacon, onion and bay leaf and cook stirring from time to time until onion is soft and transparent.

Add flour and combine well, stirring for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat until flour smells nutty.

Add potatoes and celery and toss around in pot until they are coated in butter.  Stir vegetables to prevent them sticking to base of pot.

Add pepper and water, cover with a lid and bring to a simmer.  Continue to simmer until potatoes are cooked but still retain their shape.

Pour milk and cream into pot, then add fish and parsley.

Stirring frequently, bring to just before boiling point, making sure you don’t boil.

Check potatoes and fish are cooked, add salt to taste and serve immediately.