Smoked Haddock Rarebit |

Posted on

29 July 2018


Liz Robb

Smoked Haddock Rarebit


150ml semi skimmed milk
3-4 bayleaves
A quarter teaspoon of black peppercorns
250 smoked haddock
25g butter
25g plain flour
100g extra mature cheddar cheese
1 teaspoon of English mustard
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
A pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and black pepper
1 egg
Baby plum tomatoes
A few sprigs of basil
Olive oil
A few crisp lettuce leaves
2 large thick slices of rustic bread*


  • Bring the milk to a gentle simmer in a saucepan, adding the bay leaves and black peppercorns.
  • Cover the smoked haddock in the milk and poach for 8-10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish, until the fish will flake apart easily. Lift out the fish, remove any skin or bones, flake into large chunks. cover and keep warm.
  • Strain and reserve the cooking milk.
  • Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed saucepan over a low heat. Gradually add the flour, stirring all the time to make a thick paste. Add the reserved milk gradually, constantly beating it in to make a smooth thick roux.
  • Grate the cheese into the roux, stirring until the cheese has melted completely.
  • Stir the mustard, Worcestershire sauce and cayenne pepper into the sauce then taste and adjust the flavour if necessary, adding a little seasoning to taste. Turn off the heat and allow to cool slightly, stirring occasionally.
  • Toss the halved tomatoes in a bowl with a little olive oil and roughly chopped basil leaves. Slice the lettuce leaves.
  • Heat the grill. Lightly toast the slices of bread on both sides and then slice diagonally.
  • Heap flaked fish onto each piece of toast and cover thickly with the rarebit. Grill for just a few minutes until bubbling and brown and then serve 2 pieces on each plate accompanied by lettuce and a spoonful of tomatoes.
Cooks Note

This superb savoury dish, with juicy flakes of smoked fish smothered in thick tangy rarebit on slices of crunchy toast, makes a great quick meal for lunch or supper. Serve with crisp lettuce, and baby plum tomatoes tossed in a little olive oil and basil.

*I like to use slices from a seeded spelt loaf, but any substantial bread will do.

Join the Conversation