- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 4 large eggs (preferably free-range)
- 300ml milk
- 1 onion, finely sliced
- 1 bay leaf
- 4 x 100g (4oz) natural smoked-haddock fillets, pin-boned
- 1 tsp prepared English mustard
- Squeeze of lemon juice
- 2 tsp cornflour mixed with 1 tsp water
- 1 tbsp snipped fresh chives
- 75g (3oz) watercress sprigs
- 450g (1lb) starchy potatoes(such as Russets), peeled and grated
- 25g (1oz) butter, melted
- 1 tbsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
- About 1 tsp rapeseed oil
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Place a large pan of water on a high heat. Add the vinegar. Bring to a rapid boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer, whisk the water and crack in two of the eggs.
- Cook for 3 minutes, until the eggs are just poached and holding their shape. Remove with a slotted spoon and put straight into a bowl of iced water. Repeat with the remaining two eggs. These eggs will keep happily in the fridge for up to two days.
- Meanwhile, pour the milk into a large frying pan and add the sliced onion and bay leaf. Bring to a simmer over medium heat, then carefully place the haddock into the milk, skin side down. Simmer for 2 minutes, then turn over and simmer for another 2 minutes, until the smoked haddock is just cooked through and tender.
- Lift the haddock out of the milk. Carefully remove and discard the skin and keep the haddock warm.
- Strain the poaching milk through a sieve into a small clean pan to remove the onion and bay leaf. Put over medium heat and whisk in the mustard and lemon juice and the cornflour mixture.
- Bring to the boil to thicken, whisking continuously. Season to taste, remove from the heat and keep warm, whisking in the chopped chives at the last minute.
- Place the grated potatoes, melted butter, parsley and seasoning in a bowl and mix well. Heat a large non-stick frying pan over a medium to low heat and spray the base with olive oil.
- Place large spoonfuls of the mixture into the pan, flatten with a fish slice and cook for 5–6 minutes on each side, until crisp and golden brown.
- You will need 12 in total, allowing three per serving. Spray the pan with olive oil for each batch. Place the cooked poached eggs into a fresh pan of boiling water for 1 minute to reheat them.
- To serve, place a stack of three hash potatoes on each plate. Add a small pile of watercress to each one, then add a piece of the cooked smoked haddock.
- Top with a poached egg and drizzle the sauce on top. Finish each one with a light grinding of black pepper and a sprig of watercress.