Cullen Skink

Well another year goes by and once again Burns Night is upon us. The 25th January 2009 marks 250 years to the day since Scotland's national poet was born and this evening any man with an ounce of Scot's blood will go commando and take to the streets in a skirt before downing liters of whiskey and munching on stuffed sheep's stomach, tatties and neeps in the name of Scotland's favorite son.

Why the English don't have a Shakespeare night, when we all get down with a few flagons of mead before climbing onto balconies to seduce buxom wenches is still a mystery, but once a year our hairy friends north of the border, raise a glass of 'the water of life' to their bard – Robert Burns.

Know to his friends as Rabbie and to others as the Plowman Poet or the  Bard of Ayrshire, the Scots cant get enough of Mr Burns; writer, poet, looker and all round romantic. Sadly I wont be chewing on a haggis this evening but if I can get to the fishmongers on my ride back from Richmond Park I will make a vat of Cullen Skink, a hearty fishermen's soup from the West Coast of the highlands. Easy and quick to make it is traditionally always made Finnan haddock.

  • 1 large Finnan haddock or 2 large smoked haddock fillets
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 pint of milk
  • 500g of mashed potato
  • 100g of butter
  • salt and pepper

1. Place the fish in a deep pan and add just enough water to cover.
bring to the boil and add the chopped onion nd simmer for 10 -15 minutes.

2.Remove the fish from the pan and flake off the cooked flesh and put to one-side.

3. Add the bones and skin back to the stock, return to a simmer and cook for a further 30 minutes.

4. No you have a good fish stock strain it into a clean pan and discard the bones and skin.

5. Add the flaked fish to the stock, bring to a simmer and pour in the milk and butter.

6. Stir through the mashed potatoes, season with salt and pepper and serve.


“Some have meat, and cannot eat, And some cannot eat that want it; But we have meat, and we can eat – And let the Lord be thanked.”
Robert Burns

This entry was posted on Sunday, January 25th, 2009 at 20:40 and is filed under Recipes. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed or trackback from your own site. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

1 comment

  1. harrie

    mmmmmmmead. shakespeare night would be amazing, as would dickens night. i think we should have both.

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