2 to 3 pounds thick fish fillets
6 slices thick-cut bacon cut into 1/2-inch-wide strips
2 to 3 pounds thick fish filletsbass or catfish work well
2 onions halved and sliced thin
1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon Cajun seasoning
4 cups water
2 cups beer
1(6-ounce) can tomato paste
2 pounds red potatoes unpeeled quartered
2 bay leaves
1 teaspoon your favorite hot sauce with more for serving
1 pound smoked sausage sliced
8 large eggs
Salt & pepper
Start by rendering the bacon in the bottom of a heavy pot. Once the bacon is brown and crisp, remove it from the pot. Add the onions to the remaining bacon grease, salting lightly, and sauté until softened, about 7 to 10 minutes. Add the tomato paste, smoked sausage and potatoes, stirring until everything is well blended. Cover the pot and cook for another 10 minutes or until the potatoes start to soften just a bit.
Add the bay leaves, hot sauce, red pepper flakes, Cajun seasoning, 1 tablespoon salt, 2 teaspoons black pepper, water and beer. Cover and bring to a simmer. Cook for 15 minutes. Add the fish, adding more water to the pot if needed to make sure the fish is covered. Return the cooked bacon to the pot. Simmer, covered, for another 30 minutes.
Crack the eggs one at a time into a cup. Gently pour each egg into the simmering broth so that it poaches on the surface. Continue until all eggs are evenly spread over the surface of the stew. Cover the pot and simmer for another 15 minutes. Make sure each bowl gets a poached egg and plenty of fish and potatoes. We serve each bowl with a chunk of crusty French bread to sop up the broth.