A production of the Maine Public Broadcasting Network
Maine Recipe

Finnan Haddie

1 pound smoked haddock

4 medium-sized potatoes, scrubbed and cut into bite-sized pieces

3 to 4 carrots (about 2 cups), peeled and cut into rounds

2/3 cup grated parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

For the white sauce:

4 tablespoons butter

4 tablespoons flour

2 cups milk

Salt and fresh pepper

To prepare the white sauce: Melt the butter in a heavy saucepan or in the top of a double boiler on top of the stove. Whisk in the flour so there are no lumps. Whisk in the milk until smooth and bring slowly to a boil. Cook until the sauce has thickened—about two minutes.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Butter a large casserole or four individual casserole dishes. Steam the prepared potatoes and carrots on top of the stove until they are just tender. Peel the skin from the haddock. Place the haddock on the bottom of the casserole, then sprinkle the carrots and potatoes evenly over the top. Pour the white sauce over the vegetables, smoothing to cover. Sprinkle the tops with the grated parmesan cheese and chopped parsley. Bake in the oven until bubbly and hot, about 30 to 35 minutes. Serves four.

Cheryl’s notes: The name finnan haddie most likely originated from the Scottish term "haddie" for haddock and the fishing village of Findon, Scotland. Finnan haddie is a centuries-old method of preserving haddock by salting and smoking it. Traditionally, the fish was soaked in water or milk to remove much of the salt before cooking. There are several old-time Maine methods of preparation, including casseroles prepared with cooked rice or mashed potato. This recipe, suggested to me by Roger Billings, is my favorite.

 

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