Poached Smoked Haddock with Cheesy Leeks

A deliciously comforting recipe from Claire Davies, aka The Greedy Worsdmith.
"If ever there was a good excuse for a silky cheese sauce, the arrival of great quality smoked haddock is it. The classic pairing is absolutely satisfying - the firm, smoky flavour of the fish balancing perfectly with the richness of a cheese sauce."

Serves 2

  • 1 pack Catch of the Day Smoked Haddock
  • FOR THE POACHING LIQUOR: One cup of semi skimmed milk, One cup of freshly boiled water, 2 -3 bay leaves, A pinch of black pepper
  • FOR THE CHEESY LEEKS: 2 -3 leeks (depending on size), 50g of salted butter, 50g of plain flour, 250ml of semi skimmed milk, 50g of quark, 80g of grated cheddar cheese

Top Tips

The poaching liquor recipe is also a classic and can be used to cook a variety of firm fish steaks like haddock, salmon and hake. Reserve some of the remaining liquor to add flavour to other dishes like seafood pasta sauces and creamy fish based risotto.



  1. Cut the root stock from the leeks and trim away the toughest part of the green foliage. Cut each leek lengthways in half. Take each half and slice into small, bite sized shreds. Wash thoroughly under a running tap.
  2. Heat a little oil in a deep frying pan and sauté the leeks until soft and translucent. Remove the leeks and set aside.
  3. Next poach the haddock. Pour all of the poaching liquor ingredients into a deep saucepan and bring to a gentle boil. Add the Catch of the Day Smoked Haddock portions to the pan and simmer for around 8 minutes, until just cooked. Remove the fish and cover with foil to stay warm. Reserve a cupful of the poaching liquor in a jug.
  4. I like to make my cheese sauce in the same pan that I use for frying the leeks. Start by gently melting the butter, then stir in the flour to make a firm roux. Turn the heat down low and gradually pour in the reserved cup of poaching liquor to get a smooth sauce. Finish with the quark, adding as much of the remaining 250ml of milk that you need to get your preferred consistency.
  5. Add the cheddar and mix well, followed by the leeks.
  6. Place a greedy spoonful of the cheesy leeks into a pasta bowl and top with a portion of the poached haddock. I like to leave out a crusty white loaf so that we have something to mop up the delicious juices.

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