- 800ml chicken, fish or vegetable stock
- 400g smoked haddock fillet, preferably undyed
A white-fleshed salt water fish often compared with cod in flavour and texture. Found on the…
- 30g butter
Butter is a dairy product made from separating whole milk or cream into fat and…
- 2 leeks, washed, trimmed and cut into rings
Like garlic and onion, leeks are a member of the allium family, but have their own distinct…
- 250g pearl barley
- 100ml dry vermouth or dry white wine
- 100g baby spinach leaves
Used in almost every cuisine across the world, spinach is an enormously popular green vegetable…
- 2 tbsp finely chopped parsley leaves
One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…
- 3 tbsp double cream (optional)
- 30g mature cheddar, grated, to serve (optional)
Once cheddar was 'Cheddar', a large, hard-pressed barrel of cheese made by a particular…
Bring the stock to a simmer in a deep frying pan and lay the fish in it. Cover and poach for about 4 mins, or until the fish begins to flake. Remove from the heat, then strain the cooking liquor into a jug, reserving it for later. Leave the fish in the pan, covered.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a low heat and add the leeks. Season, then add about 2 tbsp of water, cover the pan and cook the leeks for about 10 mins until softened. Stir in the barley, turning it over in the juices for 1 min, then increase the heat a little and add the vermouth. Let this bubble away to almost nothing, then add half the reserved fish stock.
Cook the barley in the stock, over a medium heat, while stirring from time to time, for about 15 mins. (The stirring helps the barley become creamier.) Add the rest of the stock and cook for another 20 mins, stirring from time to time, adding more boiling water if the mixture is getting too dry. It might take a little longer to cook the barley – the grains should be soft but with a little bite in the centre.
Remove the skin from the fish – if there is any – and break the flesh into big flakes. Add this to the risotto along with the spinach and parsley, stirring carefully as you don’t want to break up the pieces. Taste for seasoning. Stir in the cream, if using, and check again for seasoning. Serve with the cheddar grated on top, if you like.