Haddock Rarebit

This traditional British dish from Ed Baines combines smoked haddock and Cheddar cheese to make a truly tasty snack
By Ed Baines
Haddock Rarebit
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: easy



  • 600 ml milk
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 4 peppercorns
  • 1 small bunch parsley
  • 450 g undyed smoked haddock fillets
  • 50 g butter
  • 25 g flour
  • 50 g mature cheddar cheese
  • 1 tsp English mustard
  • 2 egg yolks
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 4 tomatoes
  • 4 thick slices bread
  • 01/2 lemons, juice only
  • freshly ground black pepper


1. In a large saucepan place the milk, bay leaf and peppercorns. Chop the stalks off the parsley and finely chop the leaves. Add the parsley stalks to the milk. Add the smoked haddock. Bring the milk to the boil, remove from heat, cover and allow to cool.

2. Once the haddock is cool remove it from the milk using a slotted spoon. Flake the haddock discarding the skin and any bones.

3. In a heavy saucepan gently melt the butter. Whisk in the flour and cook gently for 1-2 minutes. Strain the haddock poaching milk. Gradually add the poaching milk to the flour mixture, mixing it in well with each addition to ensure a smooth consistency.

4. Once all the milk has been added in cook gently for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in the Cheddar, mustard and flaked haddock. Mix in the yolks, Worcestershire sauce, lemon juice, finely chopped parsley leaves and freshly ground pepper. Transfer to a bowl, cover and refrigerate.

5. Quarter, seed and chop the tomatoes. Under a hot grill toast the bread on one side until lightly browned.

6. Turn the bread over so the un-toasted side faces upwards. Top with chopped tomatoes. Add a generous amount of smoked haddock mixture to each slice of bread. Grill until golden-brown. Serve at once.

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