A customer very kindly sent in this traditional recipe from Hessle Road, an area once associated with Hull’s former booming fishing industry.
The tomato gravy that makes this recipe unique is a mixture of chopped tomatoes and black tea. The black tea sounds strange but it works very well with the smokiness of the haddock.
It is believed that the addition of tea to the chopped tomatoes originates from the trawlers. On longer journeys food would be scarce and they would survive on the cheaper fish they caught. Mixing black tea with the chopped tomatoes gave the wet fish a taste of the smoked haddock they longed for and could only eat onshore.
The recipe came home with them. And it made an affordable meal for fishermen’s families when the men went back to sea and left behind little money but an abundance of fish.
This makes a comforting evening meal and would be excellent for a weekend brunch served with a cup of coffee and the newspapers.
Serves 2 (easily halved/doubled)
Prep time: Less than five minutes
Cook time: 20-25 mins
Suggested cooking methods: Oven
2 defrosted smoked haddock fillets, yellow or natural
1 can chopped tomatoes
½ cup of black tea
black pepper (to taste)
- Mix the chopped tomatoes, black tea and black pepper (to taste) in a measuring jug until combined.
- Place fillets in a baking tray and pour over the tomato gravy.
- Cook, uncovered, for 20-25 mins, until fish is cooked through and the sauce has thickened slightly.
- Serve with warm, buttery mashed potatoes or doorstep toast (as pictured).