Haddock with lentils and capers, John

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)
  • Method
  1. Sear the fish in olive oil till brown on both sides.  Remove fish, keep the oil.
  2. Sauté the chopped celery briefly in the oil. 
  3. Add the rest of the ingredients to the pan, including stock, and reduce, (15 mins approx.)
  4. Transfer to a casserole dish, laying the haddock on top.
  5. Cook in a pre-heated oven (about 25 minutes at 180°C )   
  6. Garnish with remaining chives.

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