Niall McKenna’s smoked haddock fish cakes and gratin

Niall McKenna serves up two flavoursome fish dishes...

Smoked Haddock Gratin
Smoked Haddock Gratin

This week’s recipes really emphasise the versatility of fish and how you can make one tasty dish, and another completely different dish with the leftovers. At home, we use a lot of smoked fish as it’s extremely easy to use and creates incredibly tasty meals.

To kick things off this week, we have fish cakes; these can be made with any fish, particularly salmon or mackerel, but we’ve used smoked haddock as it’s hard to beat. Next, to use up the leftovers, we have smoked haddock gratin - perfect as the main affair or as a tasty side.

Remember to support your local fishmongers for the best of our local produce.

Smoked Haddock Fish Cakes
Smoked Haddock Fish Cakes
Smoked Haddock Fish Cakes

(Serves 4)

  • 250g smoked haddock
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 50ml dry, white wine
  • 300g potatoes peeled, cooked and mashed
  • 100g peas, cooked
  • 4 parsley stalks, destalked and chopped
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • Rapeseed or olive oil to cook
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • To begin, preheat the oven to 180C and place the haddock into an ovenproof container, covering with shallots and the white wine. Place into the oven to cook for 10 minutes. Once cooked, remove and let it cool, draining off the juice into a pan to reduce by half on the hob.
  • Once reduced, place into a bowl with the haddock, mashed potatoes, peas, parsley and the lemon zest and juice.
  • Next, fold the mixture together, checking for seasoning. Because this is a smoked fish, be careful not to over-season.
  • Then, make the mixture into patties by taking a handful and compacting them into a round, flat shape. Do this for the remainder of the mix, which should provide you with approximately four servings.
  • To cook, heat a frying pan, adding a little oil and cooking on each side until golden brown.
  • These are best served with tartare sauce and half a lemon.

Smoked Haddock Gratin
Smoked Haddock Gratin
Smoked Haddock Gratin


(Serves 4)

  • Vegetable oil
  • 2 leeks, trimmed and finely sliced
  • Knob of butter
  • 300ml double cream
  • 150ml whole milk
  • 1 pinch nutmeg
  • 1 sprig thyme, leaves only
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 600g potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 350g smoked haddock
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Begin by preheating the oven to 180C.
  • Then drizzle a little oil into a heavy-bottomed pan and place onto a low heat. Once sizzling, add the leeks and season with salt, cooking until soft. Once soft, remove from the pan and add the butter to the pan to melt before turning off the heat.
  • In a bowl, add in the double cream, milk and nutmeg. To make the white sauce, place the flour into the melted butter on a gentle heat, mixing with small amounts of the cream mix, little by little. Ensure this is mixed thoroughly.
  • Next, in a casserole dish, grease the bottom of the pan with butter and place a layer of the potatoes on, then a layer of the haddock and cooked leeks, topping with potatoes. Repeat. Pour over the cream mix, seasoning with salt and pepper.
  • Pop into the oven and cook for 50 minutes.
  • Once 50 minutes has passed, remove, serve and enjoy.
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