I have mixed emotions when it comes to smoked haddock. Most of the time, smoked fish is on my top foods-I-really-like-list, but growing-up- Gorrilla and eating my fair-share of Christmas Eve finnan haddie left me with an aversion to the fish especially when it is cooked in milk. I am sure my brother’s would agree.
(The finished product)
Mr. Fearnley-Whittstall’s recipe was just the thing for me to wade back into the smoked fish, cooked in milk realm. This was absent pimentos- the dreaded ingredient to Grandma Betty’s version.
For the tomatoes
At least 3 hours before serving, preheat the oven to 75–100C/gas low. Halve the tomatoes and lay, cut side up, in a roasting tin. Trickle with some oil and season. Bake for at least 3 hours until wrinkly, but juicy.
Put the potatoes into a pan of lightly salted water, bring to the boil and simmer for 15–20 minutes until tender. Drain and leave to dry.
Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat and sweat the garlic for a minute or two. Add the smoked fish, cutting it into pieces to fit in a single layer. Pour over the milk, partially cover and simmer very gently until the fish is cooked.
Drain the fish, reserving the liquid. Return this liquid to the pan and add the olive oil and some black pepper. Either push the cooked potatoes through a ricer into the hot liquid or just add to the pan and mash.
Discarding the skin and bones, break the fish into flakes and beat into the mash. Season.
Toast the bread. Rub with the garlic and trickle with olive oil. Pile the brandade and tomatoes on the toast and top with olive oil and black pepper.
(Ben made the bread- look at that crust)