Growing up in Grimsby, haddock was a staple food and has always been a big favourite with me. Although a member of the cod family, it was pretty much universally preferred, to the point of being almost a form of currency. People would turn up with a parcel of haddock, in much the same way as they might now with a bottle of wine. We even had a GP in Grimsby called Dr Haddock. I wasn’t sure if I had imagined this, so I googled it just now and found a 2017 article in the local paper about his house being for sale. A detached Victorian villa near the People’s Park, with 9 bedrooms and 7 bathrooms, £460,000.
This recipe uses some ingredients that wouldn’t have existed in those days, not in Grimsby anyway, rather like the fishing industry itself now.John
- Ingredients: 2 haddock fillets (approx. 300g); 250g brown lentils, cooked (I used Puy lentils out of a packet, but a tin would be fine); half a tin chopped Italian tomatoes; 2 sticks of celery, chopped; 300ml fish stock; 1 Tbsp capers, drained; 1 tsp dried dill, or a handful of fresh if you have it, the juice of half a lemon, salt and black pepper to taste; a handful of chopped chives (half to be retained as a garnish)
- Sear the fish in olive oil till brown on both sides. Remove fish, keep the oil.
- Sauté the chopped celery briefly in the oil.
- Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan, including stock, and reduce, (15 mins approx.)
- Transfer to a casserole dish, laying the haddock on top.
- Cook in a pre-heated oven (about 25 minutes at 180°C )
- Garnish with remaining chives.