Recipe: Smoked Haddock and Parmesan Mash
There's quite a few elements in getting this dish together, but if you have everything set out beforehand it's not too complicated.
400g smoked haddock
250ml whole milk
A bay leaf
6 black peppercorns
1 whole nutmeg
250g fresh parmesan
1 tbsp dijon mustard
Fresh sprigs of parsley, chopped
Get the fishmonger to remove the skin from the fish before you buy. Place some butter in a pan and place the fish in it, covering with milk and a little water just enough to cover the fish. Add the bay leaf, peppercorns and some grated nutmeg and cook on a low to medium heat until it boils, then turn it down and cook on a low heat for 5 to 10 mins, the fish should be opaque, fully white and not transparent.
Turn off heat, and strain the fish into a bowl but retaining the cooking milk, as this will serve as a type of fish stock. Remove the bay leaf from the milk. Break fish into small pieces.
The sauce to go with the pie will be made with a roux base. A roux is the basis of many sauces, and is equal parts melted butter and flour. Milk is then added until it has a pouring sauce consistency. Melt 40g of butter in a saucepan and gradually add the flour until it thickens. When it has a paste-like consistency, gradually add the milk, stirring all the time. It's helpful to use a whisk for this, as it breaks down the lumps for a smooth sauce. Keep the sauce on medium heat. As more milk is added, it should gradually thicken. Stir in the dijon mustard and chopped parsley. Taste for seasoning and add more salt, pepper or mustard as needed. Take off the heat and leave to one side.
Slice the leeks. Melt the remaining 25g of butter in a saucepan. When it's bubbling, add the leeks. You want the leeks to be soft and cooked through, but not brown. Cover the leeks in the pan with a butter wrapper, this will keep the moisture in the pan, and cover. The lid will keep the steam in the pan so the leeks will be soft and not stick to the pan. After about 10 minutes on a low heat they should be soft.
Boil 500g potatoes in a large saucepan of salted water. When they are cooked, mash with butter, warmed milk and grated parmesan.
To assemble the pie, add the leeks and the fish to the white sauce and stir through. Pour the mixture into a casserole or pie dish. Top with the mashed potato and sprinkle some more parmesan on top. Cook at 180 for 20-30 mins or until golden and bubbling on top.