My home town of Howth is famous throughout Ireland for its fish. Along the west pier there are plenty of fishmongers to choose some of the freshest fish for supper. This wonderfully creamy seafood chowder always reminds me of home and with a few slices of brown bread with Irish salted butter, I’m there in an instant. This recipe is from my cookbook HomeCooked.
1 tbsp unsalted butter
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
50g pancetta, cut into cubes
2 thyme sprigs, leaves picked
1 bay leaf
300g potatoes, peeled and chopped
1 litre fish stock
Sea salt and ground black pepper
150g cod or haddock, skinned and flesh cut into 2cm pieces
150g salmon, skinned and flesh cut into 2cm pieces
250g undyed smoked haddock, skinned and flesh cut into 2cm pieces
1kg mussels in their shells, cleaned
1 tbsp finely chopped flat-leaf parsley
160ml double cream
Smoked salmon, cut into strips, to garnish
Melt the butter in a large pot over a medium-high heat. Add the onion and fry for 3–4 minutes until softened.
Add the pancetta and continue to fry until it colours, then stir in the thyme leaves, bay leaf and potatoes and cook gently for 2–3 minutes before adding the fish stock. Season well with sea salt and ground black pepper.
Simmer for 10–15 minutes until the potatoes are tender yet firm. Add the cod, salmon, smoked haddock and mussels and simmer gently for 5 minutes. Discard any mussels which haven’t opened whilst cooking. Remove the pot from the heat and gently stir through the parsley and cream. Try not to stir too vigorously as the fish chunks will break up.
Serve in warmed deep bowls with the strips of smoked salmon as a garnish on top.