Smoked Mackerel, Leek & Potato Bake

This recipe is amended from one I found on the BBC GoodFood website some time ago. It’s quick and easy and very tasty – The Mammy stopped just short of licking her plate. Even I was surprised at how much she enjoyed this dish. It’s another one of those beauties that requires very basic ingredients; you need not be too fussy with exact ingredients. Smoked mackerel is mmm-mmm good! Tastes great on its own with buttered crackers. Lardons would be a great addition to this dish. I will definitely add them next time.

Smoked Mackerel, Leek and Potato Bake

3 medium-sized potatoes, skinned
1 oz butter
3 tblsp olive oil
1-2 leeks, depending on size, chopped
2 large cloves of garlic, finely chopped
2 tblsp flour
400ml milk (you can use a mix of milk and cream if you like, I did!)
Salt and black pepper
125g parmesan cheese, grated
2 smoked mackerel fillets, removed from the skin and flaked roughly

Pre-heat the oven to 200C.

1. In a medium pot, par-boil the potatoes for 10-15 mins.

2. In a medium-large saucepan, heat the butter and olive oil over a medium heat. Fry the leeks until they have softened, about 5 mins, making sure to stir regularly so they get covered in butter. Add the chopped garlic, stir and allow to cook for one minute. Add the flour and stir well. Add the milk (and cream, optional) and stir well to get any rogue bits of leek from the bottom of the pan. Season well and allow to cook down over a low heat for about 10mins. At the end, add the grated parmesan, leaving a little over to sprinkle on top of the dish.

3. Once the potatoes are done (when a sharp knife goes in with little resistance), drain them and place on a chopping board. Cut them into ½cm slices.

4. Take a small ovenproof casserole dish, approx 5″ x 5″, and grease well. Line the bottom with half the sliced potatoes. Pour one-third of the creamy leek mixture over the potatoes.

5. Add all the flaked mackerel on top. Pour another one-third of cream mixture over it. Put down the remaining potatoes, pour the last one-third of cream mixture on top and sprinkle the remaining parmesan over it. I seasoned the top very lightly with a little table salt, a smidgen of black pepper and a wee grating of nutmeg.

6. Bake in the oven for 20mins, or until the top is beginning to brown and the creamy mixture is bubbling. I stuck mine under a hot grill/broiler for another 5 mins to get a really browned, crispy top.


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