Finnan Haddie (Smoked Haddock) Recipe

Recipes . . . where pepper grinders and peppercorns are the stars.
OK, well maybe not the stars, but at least one of the key tools and ingredients.

Here is another favourite… This one is based on a classic Scottish Finnan Haddie (smoked haddock).


      • 4 small to medium sized haddock fillets
      • 8 cups water
      • 1/4 cup kosher salt (plus pinch of salt for sauce)
      • 1 tbsp whole Silhouette Peppercorns (black & white peppercorns)
        See the spice blend recipe at
      • 1 tbsp brown sugar
      • 1 1/2 bay leaves
      • 2 tbsp low fat margarine*
      • 1/2 small onion finely chopped
      • 1 cup skim milk*
      • 1 tbsp white flour
      • 1/4 tsp paprika
      • freshly ground Silhouette Peppercorns (black & white peppercorns) to taste
        See the spice blend recipe at

(* We were pleasantly surprised that this healthy lower fat recipe stood up so well to its full fat butter and cream cousin.)

Preparing and brining the haddock:

      1. In a large pot, combine the water, 1/4 cup kosher salt, silhouette peppercorns, brown sugar, and bay leaves.  Bring to a boil and cook brine until salt is fully dissolved.
      2. Remove pot from heat and allow brine mixture to completely cool to room temperature.  (This can take an hour or more on it’s own or you can speed up the process by cooling the pot in an ice bath.)
      3. Place the haddock in a non-reactive container (a large glass baking dish or large zip lock bag works well), and pour the fully cooled (room temperature) brine over the fish.
      4. Cover the dish or seal the zip lock bag and refrigerate for 1 hour and 30 minutes.
      5. Remove the haddock fillets from the brine and pat dry with paper towel to remove excess water. Discard the brine.
      6. Place fish fillets in/on flat non-reactive container (glass or plastic), cover and refrigerate for approximately 3 hours.  (You can also complete steps 1-5 a day ahead and do the final refrigeration overnight.)

Smoking the haddock:

      1. Prepare your smoker following the manufacturers directions.  We use a Traeger Smoker/Grill which calls for a 5 minute smoke preheat.
      2. Place the haddock fillets on the smoker.  If the fillets have the skin on, place them skin side down.
      3. Smoke the haddock fillets on low smoke setting for 2 to 3 hours depending on thickness.  (Longer smoking time will produce a dryer texture and more robust smoke flavour.)
      4. In an oven-safe glass baking dish, pour white sauce (see below) over smoked fillets, and bake in pre-heated 300ºF oven for 12-15 minutes.
      5. Serve hot

Preparing the white sauce:

About 20-30 minutes before the haddock fillets are finished smoking you can begin preparing the sauce.

      1. Melt margarine in sauce pan over medium heat
      2. Saute onion until translucent
      3. Sprinkle flour evenly over mixture stirring constantly until flour is fully incorporated
      4. Slowly add milk stirring constantly and continue to cook at medium-low heat until mixture thickens to desired consistency
      5. Add paprika, pinch of salt, fresh ground pepper to taste

Serving suggestions:

      • Serve with parsley boiled new potatoes and your vegetable of choice.  (I like fresh steamed green beans and red peppers with this meal).
Enjoy !