Brandade of Smoked Fish

From issue #7.
Photography by Aaron McLean.
Brandade of Smoked Fish

Serves: 6


750 grams smoked fish
450 mls milk
1 sprig fresh thyme
1 bay leaf
8 peppercorns
450 grams floury potatoes, peeled eg. Agria
150 mls extra virgin olive oil
3 cloves garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons capers, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons each flat-leaf parsley and chives
juice of 1 lemon
sea salt and freshly ground pepper
lemon wedges and grilled bread to serve


Place the fish in a wide pan with the milk, thyme, bay and peppercorns. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool. Cook the potatoes in boiling, salted water until tender, drain and place the pot over a very low heat to drive off any remaining moisture. Mash the potatoes, or pass them through a potato ricer, cover and keep warm.

Strain the liquid from the smoked fish and reserve. Skin and bone the fish, breaking it up as you go.
Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a gentle heat and stir in a spoonful of the fish. Add more fish, spoonful by spoonful, over a medium heat and continue beating.The fish should start to absorb  the oil and become softer in texture. Stir in the garlic, capers, herbs and lemon juice and beat in the mashed potato.

By now the mixture should have absorbed all the oil and be light and fluffy. Add some of the reserved cooking juices from the fish to moisten the mixture if necessary. Taste for seasoning. Transfer to a bowl or platter and garnish with lemon wedges and grilled bread. Serves 6