serves two as a main course, or four as a starter
250 grams smoked eel fillets
200 grams dry-cure bacon, back or streaky
4 large baking potatoes
150 grams butter
150ml thick cream
Prick the skin of the potatoes with a fork and sling in a 200°C oven for an hour and a half. Slice the potatoes in half, spoon out the contents into a pan placed over a low heat. Mash the potatoes. Once the potatoes are reasonably mashed start adding the butter, a little at a time, and mashing it thoroughly into the potatoes. Once all the the butter is incorporated then add the cream and mash/stir that in completely. Stick a lid on the pan and put it in the oven to keep warm. Fry the bacon up until the fat only just begins to go slightly crispy. Stick the bacon on a warm plate so it doesn’t go cold.
You’ll want the eel fillets in a total of 4-8 pieces for ease of sharing, so cut them up if you need to, then put all the pieces in the still-warm bacon pan for 30 seconds, turn them over and leave them for another 30 seconds. Put put the eel on a plate, put bacon on top, stir a bum-load of freshly ground pepper into the mash and then spoon a helping of peppered-creamy-butter-potato onto each plate. To finish this you’ll want a little spoonful of grated horseradish on the side of each plate and finely chop some chives on top of the the mash.
bacon recipe courtesy of: adapted from David Strange's Elitistreview.com, October 6, 2012; The New Forest Smokery, River Cottage, Ashford Road, Fordingbridge, Hampshire, SP6 1BZ UK