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Fresh Haddock and Smoked Bacon with Celeriac Sage Fries

This recipe has been reproduced with the kind permission of The North East of Scotland Fisheries Development Partnership.

In the Partnership's quest to promote haddock throughout the United Kingdom, they contacted Grampian and celebrity chefs for their assistance. This recipe was contributed by Gary Rhodes.

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4 x 175g (6oz) fillets of fresh haddock, skinned
Salt and pepper
12 rashers of smoked streaky rindless bacon
2 small-medium celeriac
4 tablespoons olive oil
25–50g (1–2oz) butter, plus an extra knob
Squeeze of lemon juice
6 sage leaves, neatly chopped


  • If the haddock fillets are thin and include the tails, these can be folded, placing the pointed tail under the main fillet. Season each with a twist of pepper only.
  • Bacon rashers can be quite thick; if so, place them between two sheets of cling film and press with a rolling pin to thin them. Place the rashers on a board, overlapping very slightly in threes to form each portion. The haddock fillets can now be placed on top horizontally or vertically, whichever will cover the maximum area of the fish. Fold the rashers over, pinning them together with one or two cocktail sticks. Refrigerate until needed.
  • Top and tail the celeriac, cutting away the skin. Cut the vegetables into sticks approximately 1cm (1/2 inch) thick, not worrying too much about neatness. These an now be plunged into boiling salted water. Once returned to the boil, cook for a minute or two before draining in a colander and allowing to cool slightly. Dry on a clean cloth. This blanching method cuts into their rawness, which will leave these fries with a softer interior. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a large frying pan. Once hot, add the celeriac sticks, frying until golden brown and approaching crispy on all sides. This will take 8–10 minutes.
  • With the celeriac fries cooking, heat another large frying pan with the remaining olive oil. Once hot, place the wrapped haddock fillets in the pan, presentation-side down, and fry for 5–6 minutes, until the bacon is well coloured and golden. Add a knob of butter, turning the fish, and continue to fry for a further 4–5 minutes; turn off the heat at this point and leave the fish in the pan.
  • Add a generous squeeze of lemon juice to the celeriac, along with 25g (1oz) butter, shaking it into the juice and cooking oil. This will emulsify quite smoothly, add the extra 25g (1oz) butter for a smoother, richer finish, if preferred. Season with salt and pepper, sprinkling over the chopped sage.


  • Twist the cocktail stick(s) from the haddock, presenting on plates along with the celeriac sage fries.

An alternative finish to the celeriac is to add the butter once they are completely fried, increasing the heat to create a bubbly nutbrown finish. Squeeze over the lemon juice and sprinkle on the sage, spooning the foaming butter over the fries. An extra sweet warm twist can be added to this dish by mixing together a dessertspoon each of Dijon mustard and clear honey. This can now be brushed on the presentation side of the haddock fillet, before wrapping in the bacon.

Serves 4

Gary Rhodes
for The North East of Scotland Fisheries Development Partnership