Smoked Haddock in a Jacket
4 large baking potatoes
500g Mackenzie’s smoked haddock
20g butter (salted or unsalted)
1 small onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 sprig thyme
1 blade mace (optional)
6 black peppercorns
50 gms good quality cheddar cheese, grated.
Salt / pepper
olive oil (optional)
1 pinch mustard (optional)
Pre-heat oven to 190C / 375F / gas mark 5 (fan assisted ovens may require a lesser temperature – consult manufacturers instructions)
Scrub and prick the potatoes - bake in oven for 1hr 15mins or 1hour 30 mins till tender. Alternately do as above but brush the potatoes with oil and lightly sprinkle with salt. Sea salt would be ideal to use – bake as above.
Put sliced onions, thyme, mace, peppercorns in a baking dish place the haddock on top and pour over the milk. Cover with buttered greaseproof paper and poach in the oven for 10 minutes ( I often forget to cover with paper and so if you do forget or have not got anygreaseproof – don’t worry).
Remove haddock from oven and stand in the lquid for 5 minutes
Drain the fish reserving 300ml of liquid and the haddock, discard the skin, any bones onion etc. Flake the haddock flesh and set aside
Make the sauce by melting the butter in a pan, take off the heat and stir in the flour. Return to heat and cook until the mixture is a pale straw colour. Cool slightly.
Boil the milk and gradually stir into the flour mix. Return to heat and continually stirring bring back to boil.
Add the grated cheese and mustard to the sauce, stir for a few seconds till the cheese has melted. Season to taste.
When the potatoes are tender cut a slice off the top, scoop out the insides and mash in a bowl using some of the cheese sauce. Refill the potatoes and top with the flaked smoked haddock, top with more sauce. If you, like me, have not got a great deal of time, cut a deep cross into the top of each potato, gently squeeze open, spoon in a little cheese sauce, top with the haddock and drizzle with more sauce. Any excess haddock must be placed neatly around the base of the potato
Serve with seasonal green vegetables, peas or spinach would be a good accompaniment or alternately on its own with a salad garnish