How great are potatoes?! I feel they can be hugely underestimate and when you think about it, some of the most best dishes are made perfect by the awesome spud. I come from a family that literally have a war over roast potatoes; the meat is second place on a roast dinner plate, and there are arguments to divide a family over who get the biggest and crispiest roasty. One of my favourite things as a child was my Dad’s ‘potato volcano’; where he would make a mound of potato, shove a chunk of cheese in the top of it and then bake it the oven so the cheese would erupt down the side and go all crispy and golden. This was the star of our sausage and beans dinner. You also have so many British dishes that are only made classic by the potato partnership; ‘battered fish, chips and mushy peas’, ‘Shepherd’s Pie’, ‘Fish Pie’ and even the ‘Full English Breakfast’ with heaps of hash browns.
I could honestly write a book about how many awesome things you can do with a potato (and that would not include any funny faces you can draw on the odd shaped ones), and this dish supplies another prime example. If you are as much of a potato lover as me, then you must give this hashcake a try; not only does it go fantastically with fish, but it would also be awesome with chicken, pork, steak or even on it’s own for breakfast or as a lunch serves with salad. If you don’t believe me then you should just try it out for yourself!
For the Hashcake
– Splash oil
– 1 red pepper – finely chopped
– 1 red onion – finely chopped
– 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
– 2 tbsp sugar
– 2 potatoes – peeled and grated
– Salt and pepper
– 1 egg – beaten
– 50g cheese – grated
For the fish
– 2 white fish fillet
– 2 x small nobs of butter
– 1 lemon – sliced
– Salt and pepper
– Foil for wrapping
For the broccoli sauce
– 250g broccoli – whizzed in a blender until finely chopped
– 350g milk
– 1 vegetable stock cube
– 1 tbsp cornflour – mixed into a paste with a splash water
– Splash double cream
– Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 180C
Heat the oil in a medium size frying pan and gently fry the onions and peppers for 5 minutes until soft
Add the balsamic vinegar and the sugar and then simmer for ten minutes until the mixture is soft and sticky
Squeeze out any excess moisture from the potatoes and mix together with the salt and pepper and the egg.
Remove the pepper mix from the frying pan and add give the pan a wipe.
Heat some more oil to a medium – high temperature and place half the potato mixture in the pan.
Spread the potato mixture evenly over half the pan and press down firmly so it is well packed into the bottom.
Spread the pepper mix and the cheese over the potato, leaving an inch around the edge.
Fry the potato for 5-7 minutes and then top with the remaining potato.
Place a plate over the potato (try and find one the same size as the potato circumference and carefully tip the potato onto it.
Slide the potato back into the pan so that you can cook the other side.
Fry the potato for another 5-7 minutes and then bake in the oven for 15 minutes to finish up the crisping
Wrap each fish steak separately in foil; topping with the butter, lemon sliced and a good twist of salt and pepper before you seal, and bake in the oven for around 15 minutes. The total time will depend on the size of the fillets so read pack guidelines if they come with them.
While the potato is cooking, heat the milk and the broccoli in a saucepan and cook gently for 10 minutes.
Stir in the stock cube and the corn flour paste and continue to stir until the sauce has thickened
Add the cream, season to taste and leave on a low temperature until ready to serve.
Once the potato and the fish have finished cooking, remove from the oven.
Slice up the potato into quarters serve up (1 or 2 quarters per person, depending on how much you can eat).
Carefully unwrap the fish and tip the excess juices into the broccoli sauce
Lay the fish on top of the potato and then top with the sauce.
If you are left with excess sauce then this can be frozen and used in a pasta bake, stirred into mashed potato or served with another fish dish.