This is a recipe from Barnsley, originally published in Joan Poulson’s book, Old Northern Recipes (Yorkshire section). Cooking a whole fish in this way is not unique to Yorkshire, but if this is how it’s done in Barnsley, I’m not going to argue with them!
Ingredients (per fish)
- Fresh haddock (complete fish)
- 1 small onion
- mixed herbs
- 4-5 tablespoons fresh breadcrumbs
- Salt & pepper
- Butter or dripping
- Fish stock made from fish trimmings
- You can leave the head on, or cut it off, as you wish. If you remove the head, use it for stock, along with the fin trimmings,
- Gut, clean and cut the fins off the fish. Rub well inside and out with salt.
- Retain the trimmings (and head too, if you decide to remove it) to make a stock: boil and simmer the trimmings in a pint of water for 30 minutes
- Cook the fish liver with finely chopped onion and chopped mixed herbs.
- When onion is soft, add the breadcrumbs, seasoning and a little melted butter or dripping – add just enough to bind the mixture
- Pack as much of the fried mixture as you can into the gutted fish, tie it up and put into a dish that has been previously greased and strewn with any remaining onion, herb and breadcrumb mixture
- Cover the fish with small dabs of butter or dripping and enough fish stock to cover the mixture at the bottom of the dish
- Bake for about 40 minutes, according to the size of the fish. Check that the stock does not dry out completely and add a little more if necessary.
Source: Joan Poulson. Old Northern Recipes (1975) Hendon Publishing Co.