A white sea-fish found in the North Atlantic that is a member of the cod family. It is subject to the same problems of over-fishing as cod, so choose haddock from a certified sustainable fishery. Second only to cod in popularity, haddock is a much smaller fish than cod with a sweeter flavour. Haddock has iron-grey skin and a silvery belly with a distinctive black line running the length of the fillet. There is also a black spot at the top end of the fillet. The fish has flaky flesh, and is available fresh or frozen, whole or as steaks and fillets. It has similar uses to cod and in many recipes can also be substituted by more sustainable white fish such as pollack, coley or pouting (bib). An Arbroath smokie is a whole wood-smoked haddock.
Fish and chips with tartare sauce
A British classic of crunchy beer-battered fish and chips, with homemade tartare sauce. Serve with lots of salt and vinegar!
2 egg yolks
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
3 tbsp white wine vinegar
200ml/7fl oz vegetable oil, plus extra for deep-frying
squeeze lemon juice
½ red onion, chopped
1 tbsp gherkins, roughly chopped
1 tbsp capers, roughly chopped
small handful parsley, finely chopped
4–5 green olives, chopped
12 tbsp plain flour
6 tbsp cornflour
200ml/7fl oz ale
8 large Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and cut into chunky chips
4 x 150g/5½oz cod (or haddock) fillets
First make the tartare sauce. Whisk together the egg yolks, mustard and vinegar and gradually pour in the oil in a steady stream until you have a thick, creamy mayonnaise. Season to taste and add a squeeze of lemon.
Stir in the onion, gherkins, capers, parsley and olives. The sauce should be quite piquant and chunky and have the consistency of very thick double cream.
To make the batter, mix the flours together and whisk in the ale until you have a double cream consistency. Add a pinch of salt.
Heat the oil in a deep-fat fryer to 140C (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.). Cook the chips for 8–9 minutes and set aside on kitchen paper.
Increase the heat to 190C. In batches, dip the fish fillets in the batter and drop carefully into the hot oil. Shake the basket gently so the fillets don’t stick, and cook for about 3–5 minutes. Don’t overload the basket or the oil will cool and you’ll get soggy batter. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.
Return the chips to the deep-fat fryer a further 2–3 minutes and drain on kitchen paper. Serve with the battered fish and the tartare sauce.