Smoked haddock risotto with saffron, fennel and peas

Ingredients to serve 6

To make the court-bouillon, put all the ingredients in a large pan and bring to a gentle simmer. Add the smoked haddock and poach until just cooked, then remove the fish, flake it and set aside. Strain the poaching liquid and dilute it sufficiently to achieve a lightly flavoured stock – keep hot.

Finely chop the leek, carrot, fennel, onion, parsley and coriander – in a food processor if you have one. Soften this mixture in 100g/4oz of the butter with a pinch of salt in a heavy pan. Add the risotto rice and cook for a couple of minutes at a moderate rate until most of the rice has turned opaque. Add the saffron threads, peas and white wine. After a minute, add enough hot stock just to cover the rice mixture and stir gently until most of it has been absorbed.

Continue adding the stock in stages until the rice is done. The grains should have fluffed up and the mixture should now be creamy. Stir in the smoked haddock, remove from the heat, then add the remaining butter and cover the pan. When the butter has melted, stir it in with a squeeze of lemon, check the seasoning and serve.

2750g/1lb 10oz skinned, undyed smoked haddock
1 leek
1 carrot
2 fennel bulbs
1 small onion
a good bunch of parsley
a good bunch of coriander
175g/6oz butter
450g/1lb risotto rice (arborio is fine)
1g (a decent pinch) of saffron threads
175g/6oz peas (frozen petits pois will do)
100ml/31/2fl oz white wine
a squeeze of lemon juice
salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the court-bouillon

1 small onion, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 bay leaf
a few parsley stalks
3 litres/5 pints water
a splash of white wine

From 'The Eagle Cookbook – Recipes From The Original Gastropub' by David Eyre and the Eagle chefs (Absolute Press, £20)

Sommelier's choice

Boschendal 1685 Chardonnay 2007, South Africa

Fresh fruit flavours, and a touch of oak, give a depth and a buttery dimension that make this a perfect match for seafood.

Waitrose, £7.99, Waitrose.com

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