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Cider glazed Lough Neagh pollan with potato gratin and vegetable parcels

The cooking challenge

2016 is Northern Ireland’s Year of Food & Drink and is a celebration of everything delicious! Students are invited a develop a two–course meal which showcases our fantastic local produce and gives four visitors a true taste of Northern Ireland
Cider glazed Lough Neagh pollan with potato gratin and vegetable parcels

Hannah McCann

Young Cook Finalist Recipe

  • Mrs McElhinney
  • Sacred Heart Grammar School, Newry
  • Key Stage 4


  • Cider Glazed Lough Neagh pollan:
  • 4 pollan fillets, pin boned (ask fishmonger)
  • 100ml dry cider
  • 4 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 2 tbsp Demerara sugar
  • 1 tbsp gold rapeseed oil
  • Salt (to season)
  • Potato Gratin:
  • 800g potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 6/8 scallions (green onions), finely chopped
  • 40g Northern Ireland butter
  • ½ onion, finely chopped
  • 250ml vegetable stock
  • 40g plain flour
  • 250ml Northern Ireland semi–skimmed milk
  • Nutmeg, grated
  • Parsley, chopped (to garnish)
  • Stuffed vegetable parcels:
  • 1 leek, chopped
  • 750g carrots, chopped
  • 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 25g toasted almond, chopped (plus extra to serve)
  • A few sprigs of fresh dill
  • 50g Northern Ireland goats’ cheese
  • 2 tbsp olive oil (plus extra to drizzle)
  • 1 tsp cumin seeds
  • 8 large savoy cabbage leaves


  • To make the cider glazed Lough Neagh pollan:
  • Place the dry cider, cider vinegar, honey and Demerara sugar in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Continue to boil until the mixture has reduced by half.
  • Heat the oil in a large frying pan until hot. Place the fillets skin side down and hold with a fish slice. Cook for 1 minute, then season with salt and flip over. Cook for two minutes on this side then add the glaze. Cook until most of the liquid has evaporated and has coated the fish.
  • To make the potato gratin:
  • Pre–heat oven to 180ºC. Grease ramekin dishes with butter.
  • Put potatoes on to boil.
  • Fry the onions in oil. Add the flour and then gradually add the hot stock stirring until smooth. Stir in the milk and simmer for 5 minutes. Add the scallions and then season with salt and nutmeg.
  • Arrange the potato slices into ramekin dishes with alternate layers of the sauce.
  • To make the stuffed vegetable parcels:
  • Preheat oven to 180ºC.
  • Blanch cabbage leaves in boiling water for 3 minutes until softened. Drain, pat dry and set to the side.
  • In a separate pan, sauté the carrots and leeks in oil over a low–medium heat for a few minutes.
  • Add the garlic, cumin seeds and a splash of water to the carrots and leeks, season, then cover and gently cook until the vegetables are soft (approx 5 minutes). Stir often, adding water if needed.
  • Fold the dill, feta and most of the almonds into the vegetables. Put 3 tablespoons into the centre of each cabbage leaf.
  • Roll up and place, seam–side down, in a baking dish. Drizzle some oil on the top and place in the oven for 15 minutes.
  • Remove cabbage leaves from oven and place on a warm plate. Sprinkle with remaining almonds and serve.
  • To serve dish:
  • Layer the pollen over the cabbage leaves with a spoonful of the remaining glaze. Place potato gratin at side of the plate sprinkle over some chopped parsley.

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From the farm to the fridge, the Dairy Council for Northern Ireland acts on behalf of the dairy industry, promoting the natural goodness and quality of Northern Ireland milk and dairy products.

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