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Recipe for slow cooker Basque tuna with potatoes and peppers

Slow cooker Basque tuna with potatoes and peppers, from The Perfect Pantry

When something is meant to be, it's meant to be. After hearing about the Montague Book Mill, a used-book haven for readers in a converted 19th century mill in the beautiful central Massachusetts hills, my husband Ted and I immediately planned a road trip. The book store was all we hoped it would be: well-stocked with books both esoteric and practical, formerly-stuffed chairs for leisurely perusing placed in every corner, and an adjacent café with coffee and sandwiches for sustenance. We each snagged a few treasures. One of mine, Slow Cooker Comfort Food, offered this recipe for Basque tuna with potatoes and peppers, which I adapted somewhat from the original. I had everything on hand, including chunks of tuna in the freezer, some teeny potatoes from Trader Joe's, and bits of garden tomatoes that needed to be used right away. The garlicky aroma of the tomato sauce in the slow cooker teased us all afternoon, and the fish, marinated in the famous smoky-hot Espelette pepper, tasted like a warm summer day in France.

Slow cooker tuna with potatoes.

Slow cooker Basque tuna with potatoes and peppers

From the pantry, you'll need: olive oil, piment d'Espelette, kosher salt, onion, garlic, black pepper, white wine, chicken stock.

Adapted from a recipe for Basque-style tuna in Slow Cooker Comfort Food by Judith Finlayson. Serves 6.


2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp piment d'Espelette (or hot smoked paprika), or more to taste
1 tsp kosher salt
1-1/2 lbs fresh tuna, cut into 1-1/2 inch chunks
1 large red onion, cut into large chunks
1-1/2 Tbsp chopped garlic (6 large cloves)
1 tsp fresh black pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 cups chopped seeded tomato (don't need to peel)
2 cups diced Yukon Gold potato (2 large potatoes; don't need to peel)
1 cup chicken stock
2 bell peppers, cut into large chunks
1 Tbsp arrowroot


In a bowl, combine the olive oil, piment d'Espelette, salt and tuna. Stir well to coat all of the pieces of fish; cover the bowl, and refrigerate.

In a 4- or 5-quart slow cooker, add the onion, garlic, black pepper, wine, diced tomatoes, potatoes and chicken stock. Cook on HIGH for 2 hours, or on LOW for 4 hours.

Add the bell peppers, and cook on HIGH for 1 hour.

Then, add the tuna and all of the marinade to the slow cooker. Cook on HIGH for 30 minutes.

Use a slotted spoon to remove all of the fish and vegetables from the slow cooker; place in a large mixing bowl. Pour the liquid from the slow cooker into a small sauce pan, and set over high heat on the stove top.

In a small glass measuring cup, stir the arrowroot with 3 tablespoons of water. Pour this slurry into the liquid in the sauce pan, and stir to ensure no lumps form. When the liquid has thickened slightly, pour it over the fish and vegetables.

Serve hot, over white rice, or let the dish cool completely, and refrigerate for up to 3 days.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Chicken Basquaise with piperade
Grilled vegetables with piment d'Espelette sauce
Grilled portobello mushroom and goat cheese sandwich with smoked pepper spread
Salmon tagine with chermoula
Paella a la Valenciana

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Grilled chicken with Espelette pepper, from Apple Pie, Patis, and Pate
Chocolate chili bites, from Chocolate & Zucchini
Crustless zucchini blossom quiche, from Chez Us
Marmitako (Basque potato tuna soup), from Mostly Foodstuffs
Tuna steak with warm new potato, chorizo and tomato salad, from Eat Like a Girl

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post.

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


It sounds tasty and practically cooks itself.

This looks tasty! Where do you get the arrowroot and could I sub cornstarch if it's not available near me? Thanks!

Bellini, it's really easy to cook fish in the slow cooker. I don't do it often enough.

Kirsten, good questions! Arrowroot is available in the spice section of most supermarkets, or in the baking section. You can order it online from Penzeys.com, too. And yes, you can substitute cornstarch for arrowroot in exactly the same amount.

Oh my, this sounds delicious and it's so rare to find a really great sounding slow cooker dish that has seafood (bookmarked!)

Kalyn, the slow cooker is great for seafood. The only down side is that you can't put it in in the morning, and come home to a fish dinner at night. However, most fish and seafood cooks quickly, so you can cook the base all day, and add seafood when you get home at the end of the day, and it will be ready for dinner.

I LOVE the Montague Book Mill. Some Northampton-based friends took us there a couple years back during a visit. It made me fantasize about owning a book store (with lots of cookbooks!) someplace similar down here in Pennsylvania. It never hurts to dream! :)

Marisa, I had exactly the same thought! It is almost a fantasy lifestyle, except that someone has figure out how to make it real life. I could have spent all day there.

Good morning~ I have featured this recipe on my blog today for my weekly seafood round-up and have linked this recipe to your original post so that my readers will be forwarded to your site. Thank you for allowing me to share!

Carrie, thanks so much! Readers, click on the link above to get to Carrie's site.

Love this recipe; such a great idea and I love slow cookers!

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