This has to be one of the best comfort foods imaginable. Classic mac ’n’ cheese is hard to beat but, with the addition of rich, smoky haddock flaked through the sauce, it’s off the scale.
Serve with a buttered green vegetables or tomato salad.
Smoked haddock mac ’n’ cheese
- 250g dried macaroni pasta
- 350g smoked haddock, skinned
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 500ml (2 cups) milk
- 50g butter
- 25g plain flour
- 150g grated Emmental cheese
- 1 tsp English mustard
- 2 tbsp chopped chives
- Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.
Cook the macaroni in boiling salted water for 10 minutes and drain. Toss in a little oil to prevent the pasta from sticking together.
Put the smoked haddock in a saucepan and add the onion, bay leaf, milk and a good twist of black pepper. Put over a medium heat, bring to a simmer and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat, lift the haddock out of the milk and break into chunky flakes, retaining the milk.
In a separate large pan, melt the butter. When it’s bubbling, stir in the flour. Stir for about 30 seconds, then pour in the oniony milk from cooking the smoked haddock. Using a balloon whisk, mix together until it comes to the boil and you have a loose sauce consistency. Stir in half of the cheese and stir well until it’s melted.
Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the macaroni, mustard and chives. Fold through the smoked haddock and transfer to a large ovenproof dish. Scatter over the remaining cheese and bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes, until golden and bubbling.
Note: This can easily be transformed into a classic mac ’n’ cheese, without using the smoked haddock. Sauté the onion and bay leaf in the butter until the onion is soft. Stir in the flour then add the milk, bringing the sauce to the boil. Increase the quantity of cheese to 300g oz. I like to mix things up a bit with a selection of cheeses such as Emmental, smoked Cheddar and Monterey Jack.