Taste Kent Magazine

Discover the tastiest food and drink from Kent – The Garden of England

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Recipe: Sankey’s Smokie

We love Sankey’s, the beautiful independent, family-run pub and restaurant group in Tunbridge Wells, Kent. From 1989, the Sankey family has owned and operated the flagship Seafood Kitchen & Bar on Mount Ephraim, adding a second sister site, The Old Fishmarket in The Pantiles, in 2013. Specialising in seafood and craft beers, the Mount Ephraim pub brings a relaxed, casual drinking and dining atmosphere to the top of town, while the exclusive Champagne and oyster bar at the bottom serves the very best British fish and shellfish, with a wide range of sparkling wines from around the world.

Credit – Key and Quill

They shared this gorgeous recipe with Taste Kent:

Serves 4

Preparation time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 10 minutes


500g skinned, pin-boned natural smoked haddock (Sankey’s Fishmongers can prepare this for you; keep the skin)

1 pint full-fat milk

2 bay leaves

Sprig of thyme

1 tsp peppercorns

100g unsalted butter

100g plain flour

200g grated cheddar

4 small handfuls of spinach


Gently poach the haddock and skin in the milk for about five minutes with the bay leaves, thyme, and peppercorns.

Make a roux by melting the butter in a pan, and adding the flour bit by bit to make a paste. Cook for about one minute on a low heat.

Strain the milk, and slowly add it to the roux to make a white sauce. Stir for around 5-10 minutes, or until you get a nice even thick sauce.

Add four handfuls of the grated cheese, stir in, and remove from the heat.

In a baking dish (or individual bowls), layer the spinach on the bottom, then add the haddock, before evenly pouring in the sauce. Coat with the remaining cheese, and brown under a hot grill.

If you wish, you can serve with a poached egg on top. You can also add other fish or prawns, which would be poached with the haddock.

Serve with nice crusty bread.


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AJ is a food writer, editor and PR.