Lamprey Eel, Boradeaux Style (Lamproie à la Bordelaise)

3-pound lamprey, or eel
1 bottle red wine, preferably Bordeaux
16 leeks
4 carrots
4 shallots
1 cup chopped ham
½ cup oil
1 Tablespoon flour
salt, pepper
1 thyme sprig (or ½ teaspoon dried thyme)
1 bay leaf
12 croutons (fried bread cubes)
1 clove garlic (optional)


  1. Bleed the lamprey by cutting two inches off its tail. Mix the blood with a cup of wine.
  2. Scald the fish and scrape off the skin. Make an incision around the neck below the gills. Pull out the central nerve through this opening.
  3. Cut the lamprey into 2-inch slices. Put them into a deep bowl, cover with wine, and set aside.
  4. Peel and wash the leeks; use the white part only. Scrape, wash, and slice the carrots. Mince the shallots and chop the ham.
  5. Heat the oil in a saucepan. Add the ham and vegetables, and when they start to brown, sprinkle with the four. Stir well and brown for a few minutes.
  6. Pour in the remaining wine. Add salt, pepper, thyme, and bay leaf. Cover and let simmer for about 30 minutes.
  7. Add the lamprey slices, and the wine in which they were marinated. Cook for 15 minutes.
  8. Arrange the lamprey and leeks on a platter. Remove the pan from the heat and thicken. thesauce with the blood and wine mixture. Pour over the lamprey. Serve with the croutons, which may be rubbed with garlic.

The lamprey is a rare fish. In France it is available only in the Dordogne and Garonne areas, where they are plentiful from April to June. Eels may be used as a substitute.

© Shufunotomo Co., Japan, 1971. Published in the United States and Canada by BOBLEY PUBLISHING, a division of Illustrated World Encyclopedia, Inc. Printed in Japan

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