Heat the milk, cream, thyme, bay leaf, olive oil and garlic in a large saucepan. Add the fish and poach gently for 6–8 minutes until cooked through. Leave to cool. Reserve the cooking liquid for later.
Meanwhile, bring a pan of water to the boil. Boil the eggs for 6 minutes, then drain and refresh in cold water. Once the eggs have cooled, peel them gently and reserve.
Place the mashed potatoes in a large bowl and add about 50ml/2fl oz of the warm poaching milk. Flake in the smoked haddock – reserving a small amount for garnish – and add 50g/1¾oz panko breadcrumbs and the lemon zest. The mixture should still be fairly dry and firm. Taste and season with salt and pepper. Chill the mixture in the fridge for an hour.
Shape the haddock mixture into two balls then flatten out into patty shapes. Put the boiled eggs in the middle of each patty and gently gather the filling around the eggs, smoothing out the mixture and making sure no egg is left exposed. Chill again in the fridge for another 30 minutes.
Preheat a deep fat fryer to 180C. (CAUTION: hot oil can be dangerous. Do not leave unattended.) Roll the scotch eggs in the flour, then dip in the beaten egg and roll in the remaining breadcrumbs. Deep fry for 3–5 minutes until golden brown then remove carefully with a slotted spoon and transfer to kitchen paper to drain.
To make the mayonnaise, mix all of the ingredients together in a small bowl.
Cut the scotch eggs in half and serve with the mayonnaise, tarragon leaves and reserved smoked haddock.
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