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BRANDADE OF HADDOCK A classic brandade from the south of France doesn’t contain any potato. The original brandade de morue Nîmoise consisted of salt cod beaten with milk and olive oil until it had the consistency of mashed potato. In the city of Nîmes, where brandade is a speciality, they never even added garlic, although this is allowed in Marseille and Toulon. But away from southern France, brandade has long been made with mashed potato, maybe to save money or perhaps because people prefer it that way. Whatever the reason, it’s become the norm these days and brandade is hardly ever made without the addition of mashed potato. This recipe does contain potato but, instead of salt cold, we’ve used fresh haddock and a bit of smoked trout. We’ve also added Asian spices simply for their flavour, but keep quiet about that in Nîmes!

  • Yield: 4 Servings
  • Total Time: 1 Hour 10 Minutes


  • 400 g/14 oz haddock fillet, skinned
  • 500 g/1 lb 2 oz floury potatoes, peeled and cut into
  • even-size chunks
  • 500 ml/18 fl oz/2 cups milk
  • 2 stalks of lemongrass, crushed and roughly
  • chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 sprigs of thyme
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 shallot, roughly chopped
  • 1 red chilli (chile), thinly sliced
  • 50 g/2 oz/4 tbsp butter, diced
  • 2 tbsp chopped coriander (cilantro) leaves
  • 100 g/4 oz smoked trout fillet, broken into small pieces
  • 3 tbsp dry breadcrumbs
  • salt and pepper
How to Make It
  1. Season the haddock on both sides with salt and pepper. Chill the fish in the refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Put the potatoes in a pan of lightly salted water and bring to the boil. Cook for 15–20 minutes until the potatoes are tender.
  3. Drain and leave them to steam dry without covering the pan. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a saucepan over a low heat. Add the lemongrass, bay leaves, thyme, garlic, shallot and chilli (chile). Turn the heat down as low as possible and leave the mixture to infuse for 30 minutes. Strain the milk, return it to the pan and reheat on low. Add the haddock and poach in the milk for 12–15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillet,
  4. until cooked. Preheat the grill (broiler). Lift the fish out of the pan with a draining spoon, reserving the milk, and flake the flesh into small pieces.
  5. Add the butter and 100 ml/3½ fl oz/generous ⅓ cup of the hot milk to the potatoes. Mash and season with salt and pepper.
  6. Reserve some of the coriander (cilantro) and trout for garnish and stir the rest, with the haddock, through the mashed potatoes.
  7. Spoon the mixture into a heatproof dish and arrange the reserved coriander and trout over the top. Sprinkle with the breadcrumbs and grill (broil) for 4–6 minutes, until golden brown.

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