As we have recently put the spotlight on our British suppliers, we have started a British supplier live Q&A series.
First up we were joined by Patrick Salmon, CEO of Alfred Enderby, to discover the incredible history and traditional processes behind their award winning smoked fish.
For over a century Alfred Enderby has been using hand crafted methods to fillet, cure and smoke haddock in Grimsby, ensuring that it maintains a distinct flavour unlike anything you have ever tasted before. The Fish Society have been buying smoked haddock from Alfred Enderby for over 25 years due to their high quality, skill and craftsmanship.
Here are some of the main topics that were covered in the Q&A:
Why is Alfred Enderby’s smoked haddock the best?
Alfred Enderby doesn’t cut any corners when it comes to smoking haddock, they use a traditional method of production which is unlike anything you can get elsewhere. The haddock is cold smoked in 100 year old kilns that have become ladened with tar over the years, adding to the distinct flavour process.
Their smoked haddock is so fantastic that it has won multiple awards, is internationally recognised and has received PGI (Protected Geographical Indication) status. This ensures that they deliver the highest standard and quality of smoked haddock to you.
How do they smoke the haddock?
The haddock arrives whole in the early morning from the local Grimsby fish market and is then skillfully filleted by the professionals at Alfred Enderby. They then soak the fish in a dense salt water brine which is swiftly followed by draining on steel rods. At the end of the day the haddock filled rods are carefully placed into a 3 story high smokehouse where they are left to smoke overnight (minimum of 12 hours).
The smoke is created through burning a specialist (top secret) blend of sawdust which slowly smulders and gives the haddock that fantastically unique flavour. The smokehouse has openings at the top and bottom to allow cool air to pass through the kiln and mix with the smoke as it rises.
Why is your smoked haddock not bright yellow like in the Supermarkets?
All traditionally smoked haddock has a slightly yellowish hue to it where the smoke colours it, Alfred Enderby achieves this colour by smoking their haddock for a minimum of 12 hours. However, supermarkets use a more modern smoking process in electronic chambers where the haddock is only smoked for around 3 hours. This short time will not turn the fish yellow as it has not been smoked for long enough, so they dye the fish a bright yellow colour to disguise this. It’s also used as a differentiator between smoked fish and fresh fish. As Patrick Salmon says, “you don’t eat yellow snow so don’t eat yellow haddock”!
Patrick Salmon’s Smoked Haddock Recipe of Choice
Patrick has shared with us his all time favourite recipe for smoked haddock, and it’s super quick and simple to make! All you need is spinach, smoked haddock, double cream and English mustard.
Get a medium sized baking dish and pack the bottom of it full of washed spinach.
Slice the smoked haddock into pieces that will cover the top of the spinach.
Mix a big pot of double cream with a large spoonful of English mustard and cover the smoked haddock.
Bake it in the oven for 40 minutes until there are blisters on the top and serve!