Cullen Skink

This Cullen Skink recipe from James Ramsden's brilliant book 'Small Adventures in Cooking' is very tasty, very easy to cook and works just as well with some tinned clams as it does with smoked mackerel. Freshly baked bread would be good with this too.


  • 200g Smoked Mackerel Fillets
  • 600ml Milk
  • Bay Leaf
  • 1 Small Onion
  • 1 Stick Celery
  • 1 Large Potato
  • 1 Glass White Wine
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Olive Oil

My version of this recipe features no double cream (as in the original), but uses extra Milk instead…

Gently bring 600ml of Milk to the boil with the Smoked Haddock fillet/s and a Bay Leaf or two

Simmer for a few minutes (not more than 5) and then turn the heat off.  Allow to cool

Meanwhile, chop 1 small Onion and 1 stick Celery.  Also chop 1 large Potato into 1cm ish chunks

Heat a saucepan with a little Olive Oil and fry the Onion and Celery until softened

Add the chopped Potato, some Salt & Pepper and cook (with the lid on) for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally

While the Potatoes are cooking, remove the Smoked Mackerel from the Milk.  Flake the fish, removing any skin and bones as you go

When the 15 minutes is up – add a glass of White Wine to the Potatoes, and simmer for a minute or two before adding the Milk that the fish was cooked in

Cook gently for 10 minutes or until the Potatoes are completely cooked

Add the flaked Mackerel; simmer for a few minutes to heat back through, and serve with lots of chopped Parsley and some homemade Bread

NB – Ken Green Fish Merchants in Clacton is an excellent source of smoked (and fresh) fish… their smoked salmon, trout, mackerel and haddock are all exceptional… and luckily they have lots of stockists on the East Coast

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