Celebrate Burns night with my Cullen skink

Celebrate Burns night with my Cullen skink

With Burn’s night only a few days away, why not enjoy a taste of Scotland with my Cullen Skink recipe!
I discovered Cullen skink in Scotland when I was a student at St Andrews University. Although traditionally more of a soup that originated from the small village of Cullen, I think it also makes a great stew by simply adding less milk.  
Serves 4-6

  • 60g butter
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 1 leek, finely sliced
  • 600g floury potatoes, peeled and cut into 2-3cm chunks
  • 600ml whole milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 600g undyed smoked haddock
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

To serve

  • Grated mature Cheddar
  • Chopped fresh parsley

Melt 45g of the butter in a heavy based pan that has a lid. Add the onion and leek and gently sweat them, with the lid on the pan, for 15-20 minutes until they are extremely soft and almost sweet.

Next add the potato and cook gently, again with the lid on, for a further 10 minutes until the potatoes are starting to soften a little.

Add the milk, bay leaf and a little grated nutmeg. Bring up to simmering point, adding some black pepper to the pan. Cook gently for 20-25 minutes until the potatoes are very soft and beginning to break up, then turn off the heat and squash some of the potatoes with the back of a fork into the milk to thicken it. Stir in the smoked haddock pieces, cover with the lid and leave for 5 minutes off the heat to allow the haddock to just cook.

Lift off the lid and stir gently to combine all the flavours, trying not to break up the fish too much. Have a taste and depending on the cure of the haddock you may need to add some more salt – but you may not, so be careful. Finally, melt in the remaining butter.

Serve in bowls topped with grated Cheddar, some chopped parsley, black pepper and a hunk of bread on the side. Perfect for breakfast, lunch and dinner!

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