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Scottish Finnan Haddie

There are references to smoked fish in Scotland going back to the 16th century. James Boswell wrote about them in the 18th. century, mentioning that Scottish smoked fish could be obtained in London.

In the late 19th century, the Aberdeen fishing village of Findon (pronounced locally as "Finnan") began producing lightly smoked and delicately flavoured haddock (haddies) which were of a much finer texture. They were an immediate success and variations on these tasty fish have become very popular.

They can be simply grilled with butter but here is a recipe with milk and onions which turns them into a delicately flavoured fish stew. The quantities are sufficient for four people.

Ingredients:

  • One pound (500g) smoked haddock (*** available at The Celtic Treasure Chest)
  • One large onion, thinly sliced
  • 14oz (400ml or one and two thirds of a cup) milk
  • ½ teaspoon cracked pepper
  • 1½ teaspoons mustard powder ***
  • 1oz (30g or ¼ stick) butter, softened
  • 2 teaspoons plain flour
  • 1 finely chopped spring onion
  • Some finely chopped parsley

Method:

Place the thinly sliced onion in the base of a large pan. Cut the smoked haddock into pieces about ½" to an inch (2cm) wide and spread over the onion.
Mix the milk, pepper and mustard and pour over the fish. Bring to the boil slowly; reduce the heat to low and simmer covered for five minutes. Then uncover and simmer for another five minutes.
Remove the fish from the pan with a slotted spoon to allow the juices to run off and place in a warm serving dish. Continue to simmer the mixture in the pan for another five minutes, stirring frequently.
Mix the warm butter and flour and add to the pan along with the finely chopped spring onion. Stir over a low heat until the mixture comes to a slow boil and thickens slightly. Pour over the fish and serve with some finely chopped parsley.

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