A reward on winter evenings.


  • 2.25 l water
  • 1 slice lemon
  • 1 tblsp salt
  • 750-900g hake fillet (skin on)
  • 75 g unsalted butter
  • 15 g flour
  • 570 ml milk
  • 25 g fresh basil (stalks removed and hand picked)
  • colcannon ingredients
  • 450 g potatoes (washed)
  • 70 g butter
  • 150 g curly kale (finely chopped)
  • 1 egg (beaten)
  • 3 tblsp plain flour
  • 1 pinch salt and fresh ground black pepper
  • 3 tblsp water


  • Cook the potatoes for about 25 minutes in boiling salted water, until soft. Peel while they are still warm Mash and add 20g butter.
  • Bring saucepan to a medium heat, add the kale with 3 table spoons of water and 50g of butter, cook until tender. Reason for so little water is to keep vitamins contained and because cabbage is 90% water.
  • Fold the cabbage through the potatoes; bind the mixture together with a beaten egg and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Put the water, lemon and salt in a large pan. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Add the hake and simmer for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and leave to finish cooking gently in the cooking liquid.
  • Melt 25g butter in a heavy-based pan and sprinkle over the flour.
  • Stir continuously with a wooden spoon to mix and cook for 5 minutes.
  • Gradually pour in the milk, stirring all the time, to make a smooth sauce.
  • Add 290ml/0.5 pint of the fish cooking liquid and leave to simmer for 12 minutes.
  • Drain the hake and cut into 4 portions. Place on four warmed plates.
  • Stir the picked basil and the rest of the butter into the sauce.
  • Place Colcannon in the centre of the plate with the fish on top.
  • Pour the sauce over half the fish. I think dishes like this look more attractive if the fish is only partly covered.

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