Salmon and dill potato gratin

It’s been a while since I posted a recipe that used canned fish, but that isn’t demonstrative of how much I actually cook with it. Canned tuna, obviously, gets quite a lot of use – either in my Japanese tuna patties, or in more prosaic pasta bakes and jacket potato toppings. Lunch is regularly canned sardines on crispbread, or tuna Niçoise, and it’s always handy as a lunch or supper for Cub. As I’ve mentioned before, canned tuna makes excellent fishcakes.

I have long loved Jannsen’s Temptation, a dish of potatoes, anchovies and cream. It’s an alchemist’s dream: much more than the some of it’s parts. This is my little version of it, using canned salmon. Bear always forgets the name of the original dish, and ends up calling it Rameses Revenge. So, my little version has been christened Rameses Revenge in The Bear Cave. The fantastic low-rent dill sauce is from Ikea, and I always buy in bulk when I go near an Ikea store – four jars at a go. It’s brill on crispbreads with canned fish, and on rye bread with gravadlax. It’s also wonderful with smoked mackerel. In fact, let’s just acknowledge that I could eat it by the spoonful. They call it Sås Senap and Dill, but we just call it Ikea Sauce.

On Twitter recently I found a company that specialises in sustainably sourced canned fish. I know that the bigger companies now make claims about their ethical practises, but Fish 4 Ever definitely seem to practise what they preach. They use selectively caught, sustainably sourced fish that aren’t endangered or juvenile; their ethical policies are laid out here. Added to that, they’re available to purchase online, which is handy for me as I rarely get go to supermarkets any more and the local shop’s selection of canned fish is minimal. I do try and use the local butcher and fishmonger for my meat and fish, and the local farms and farm shops for cheese, fruit and veg. It means I only go to the supermarket once a month for cleaning stuff and store cupboard essentials, and I’m happy with that – I don’t really want to give them any more of my money than I have to.

You can order their products online here; I’ve now placed two orders with them and they always turn up promptly, without too much excess packaging. I always order a couple of multi-packs of tuna, half a dozen jars of anchovies, and a couple of cans of salmon. That covers me for a couple of months, and means it’s one less thing to be worry about. Don’t worry, I’m not being paid to say any of this, but I think it’s important to spread the word about people out there that are doing good things. One of the reasons I started the blog was because I was so inspired by local produce and independent suppliers; I can’t think of any better way of doing this than to let you know about the people out there doing all the hard graft.

Serves 2

  • 2tbsp butter
  • 3 medium potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced
    As you would for potato dauphinoise
  • 2 medium onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 213g can salmon
  • 4tbsp dill sauce
  • 350ml double cream
  1. Peel and thinly slice the onions, and set aside.
  2. Peel and thinly slice the potatoes, as you would for potato dauphinoise. Cover with water if you’re going at a leisurely pace.
  3. Use the butter to grease a medium ovenproof dish. Place a layer of potatoes at the bottom of the dish.
  4. Drain the salmon and mash lightly under a fork. Smooth a layer over the potatoes, making sure it reaches the edges.
  5. Sprinkle the salmon with the onions, again making sure that it reaches the edges.
  6. Add the dill sauce to the cream and mix to combine. Season with salt and pepper. Pour over the potatoes.
  7. Bake in the preheated oven for 30-40 minutes until the top is golden brown and bubbling, and the potatoes are completely cooked through.
  8. Serve on its own or with a salad, and enjoy these ethical eats.

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6 Responses to Salmon and dill potato gratin

  1. Hi Vicky

    Tempting recipe and delighted to see you using Fish4Ever salmon.

    Really touched you noted that Fish4Ever REALLY is ethical!

    The big brands may have pole-and-line ranges but what about the rest of their business? Fish4Ever aims to be sustainable through-and-through.

    Thanks so much for noticing.

    • Hi Elizabeth

      Thanks so much for popping over and taking a look – glad you like it.

      Was really glad to find Fish4Ever products – I’ve been really impressed by everything I’ve used so far. I love the fact that packaging is appropriate (excess packaging is a major gripe of mine!) and that is so easy to order and arrives so promptly. Was happy to share it with those that read the blog!

      I found your ethical policy really interesting and comprehensive – your holistic approach to sustainability sits very well with me. Keep up the excellent work!

  2. Su-Lin says:

    Yes. I knew I bought that mandoline for a reason. To make this.

  3. The Grubworm says:

    Oops, i misread “Japanese patties” as “Japanese parties” and got all envious about yo having them… That said, the patties would make great party food.

    Love the look of this, it’s great to have something else to use tinned fish for. Like you, i eat it quite a lot and also try to get Fish4Ever where possible – it’s reassuring to get hold of something genuinely sustainable.

    The one thing to do forme is to find an alternative to the sauce as dill is one of Mrs GW’s great hates (along with beetroots and Tom Waits – I know!). Any recommendations? I was wondering about creme fraiche. Or something with capers…

    • You could say that those Japanese patties are a party in the mouth. They are absolutely brilliant – one of my favourite parts of Japanuary!

      We are such fans of tinned fish in this house, although I am struggling to cope with Mrs GW hating dill sauce – it’s an addiction of mine! Yes, if I were you I’d go for creme fraiche, maybe with a tbsp of Dijon in it, and some chopped parsley. That, or capers would be good, with a dash of lemon zest, if you wanted to take it in that direction.

      And as for her not liking Tom Waits… I am almost speechless. Tom Waits is one of my great musical loves, along with Leonard Cohen and Elvis Presley – The Heart of Saturday Night album would go to my desert island with me…

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