Smoked haddock with potatoes, spinach, cream and thyme

This is a great meal for when you want something slightly luxurious, but don't want too much mess. Everything can be made on one tray, and the whole dish comes together in about an hour.

First published in 2023

Gelf says: 'I love smoked fish and I’m fortunate enough to be able to smoke my own, but I appreciate this is unusual. Most good fishmongers and supermarket fish counters sell naturally smoked fish, which is pale yellow in colour. Avoid anything that is bright yellow, as this will have been dyed and most likely dipped in a smoke-flavoured cure rather than smoked properly. If you have any leftovers (which I doubt), thin down with a little stock the next day for a hearty chowder-like lunch.'

Swaps: This works well if you replace the smoked fish with small or halved larger chestnut mushrooms.






Preheat the oven to 220°C/200°C Fan/Gas 7


Put the new potatoes into an ovenproof pan or roasting tray. Trickle over the extra virgin olive oil, season lightly with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Cook in the oven for 25–30 minutes until the potatoes are just softened all the way through

  • 500g of new potatoes, skin on
  • 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil

Take the pan out and use the back of a fork to just break each potato. Add the leeks and thyme, stir and cook in the oven for 10 minutes. Now add the spinach and return to the oven for a couple of minutes until it is just wilted. In the meantime, cut the fish into 2cm cubes. Remove the pan from the oven and add the smoked haddock, cream and white wine. Stir together and return to the oven for 12–15 minutes, until the fish is cooked

  • 2 leeks, trimmed and cut into 1cm slices
  • 5 sprigs of thyme
  • 200g of spinach, tougher stalks removed and roughly chopped if using large leaf spinach
  • 400g of smoked haddock fillet, MSC-certified, or any smoked sustainably caught white fish
  • 400ml of double cream
  • dry white wine, one small glass

Take out the pan again and turn the oven setting up to 230°C/220°C Fan/Gas 8. Sprinkle over the grated cheese, then the pumpkin seeds and paprika. Return to the oven for a few minutes until the cheese is melted and starting to brown. Serve at once

Gelf Alderson has worked his way up from being a senior sous chef to Culinary Director at the River Cottage. The food at River Cottage is focussed on simple, seasonal eating, and his two cookbooks are no different. Great Roasts, his latest cookbook, shows that roasting is about more than just big pieces of meat. It features recipes for roasted fruit, creamy beans or smoked haddock and even kedgeree – all made in the oven.

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