Food Made in Shetland: Smoked Haddock Risotto

Jun 12, 2022

In preparation for Marian Armitage’s ‘Food Made in Shetland’ upcoming book launch we’re delighted to share one recipe per week with you.

Food Made in Shetland features over 60 recipes, useful tips and insights into the Shetland food scene. The recipes put the best of Shetland produce front and centre and will inspire you to create delicious and tasty meals at home. Marian is very passionate about the use of local produce and offers wonderful creative ideas for getting the best out of cheaper cuts of meat and less-used species of fish. Marian’s straightforward and informative style will inspire you to create deliciously nutritious meals full of flavour and taste.

Food Made in Shetland is available to pre-order now and is going to be published and launched on 30th June.

We’ll share more details in another post but in the meantime here’s one of the recipes for you to try.

This recipe is the ultimate favourite and great for a summer Friday dinner, hopefully eaten al fresco!


Risotto with Smoked Haddock

Fresh haddock is Shetland’s most popular and highest selling fish. The two Lerwick fish retailers (who also supply the network of independent local shops throughout Shetland) sell a very wide range of species but haddock accounts for over 90% of their sales. It is also the most popular ingredient of the best ‘fish supper’ readily available at the four fish and chip shops throughout Shetland. Smoked haddock is very popular in Shetland – smoking prolongs the shelf life and extends the use of the fish and opens up a whole spectrum of different dishes. Smoked haddock is a necessary ingredient in a good fish pie and in the delicious soup Cullen skink.* There is also this delicious classic risotto.

Serves 4

2 onions – finely chopped

50g Shetland butter

21⁄2 litres chicken or vegetable stock

400g risotto rice – Carnaroli if possible

2 medium-size smoked haddock fillets (approximately 500g)

100g unsalted butter – cut into cubes

50g parmesan – finely grated 1 glass white wine (optional)


1. In a heavy-based pan, soften the chopped onion in 50g butter. Cook slowly until transparent – avoiding browning.

2. Have the stock ready and simmering in a separate pan.

3. Use some of it to gently poach the smoked haddock in a separate pan, and when just done, lift the fish out and set aside. (Use this flavoured poaching water in the risotto.)

4. Add the rice and stir so that the grains are well coated with butter.

5. Increase the heat and add the wine, which will soon evaporate.

6. Add the stock using a ladle, a ladleful at a time, stirring well with each addition.

7. The consistency should remain sloppy as the rice grains gradually soften and the starch is released. Taste and test regularly after about 15 minutes.

8. When almost done, and the rice still has a little bite, remove from the heat and gradually beat in the butter and then the grated parmesan.

9. Allow to rest for 2-3 minutes while you roughly flake the cooked smoked haddock.

10. Give a final stir and serve on warmed plates garnished with chopped parsley, tarragon or chives.


*A legendary version of Cullen skink is made by (the Shetland) James Martin and served every Friday at The Peerie Shop Café on the Lerwick esplanade.


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