Saturday 18 March 2017

Salted Pollack With Potatoes, Cream And Marjoram

Salted Pollack With Potatoes, Cream And Marjoram

This makes such a good supper. It is so much more than fish and potatoes. You can take out the dried salted fish and on the surface it would look much the same, but underneath the crisp and caramelised potato topping it wouldn’t have the extraordinary intensity that the salted pollack brings. To make your own salted fish, cover a large fillet of very fresh pollack, cod or other white fish in fine salt and leave it in the fridge for 48 hours. Wash the salt off the fish and hang it to dry somewhere cool and airy (a porch, lean-to or shed is perfect). It will hang for many weeks, even months. When you’re ready to use it, soak it for 12 to 18 hours in several changes of fresh cold water.


- white floury potatoes 1kg, such as Désirée or Maris Piper

- onion 1 large, thinly sliced

- garlic cloves 4-6, peeled and thinly sliced or chopped

- marjoram 2 tbsp, plus a couple of stems for topping (optional)

- double cream 500ml

- salted pollack or cod fillets 300-400g, thoroughly soaked, skinned and sliced into small pieces

- salt and freshly ground black pepper


- Heat the oven to 160C/gas mark 2-3. Peel and slice the potatoes thinly into 2-3mm rounds. Place the slices in a large bowl with the onions, garlic and marjoram, and plenty of black pepper (it may not need salt as the fish will bring this to the mix). Place the cream into a small pan over a medium heat and bring it up to a simmer. Pour the hot cream over the potatoes and turn well to combine.

- Place a relatively neat layer of overlapping potatoes in the bottom of a large round dish, about 20-25cm in diameter and 5cm deep. Scatter over some of the sliced fish, then make a second layer of overlapping potatoes. Continue until you have used up the fish, finishing with a layer of potato on top. Pour over all the remaining cream from the bowl. Top with a couple of marjoram flower stems, which I think look lovely, dry and brittle as glass in the oven – but of course they’re not essential.

- Place the dish in the oven and bake the layered potato and fish pie for 1 hour, pressing the potatoes down firmly once or twice during cooking using a spatula, until the potatoes are tender, the top layer is golden and the sauce is bubbling. Remove the dish from the oven and allow it time to settle. It will be much better, and still nice and hot, after 30 minutes of sitting. Serve with a green salad or steamed, lemony purple sprouting broccoli.



Etiam at libero iaculis, mollis justo non, blandit augue. Vestibulum sit amet sodales est, a lacinia ex. Suspendisse vel enim sagittis, volutpat sem eget, condimentum sem.