Inspired by The Wild WoodsWoman’s recent post I thought I’d tell you my recipe for a really great fish pie.
While The Northern Monkey may mock our southern eating habits even he was forced to admit, " now that's some pie"
It’s an old cockney pie recipe, but with a bit of Italian twist, it can be something from the ‘bachelor scissors’ range (nothing gets ‘em out of their clothes faster).
First the spuds – as many spuds as you serve to the number of people you making the pie for – if I’m making it for Mrs SBW’s dad (major spud fan) lots of spuds.
If I’m making it for Mrs SBW’s friends (all on the Atkins-ish) less spuds.
However many spuds you’re using, the important thing is; you cant slice them thinly enough. I use a Madeline but you can use a food processor or very sharp knife.
Then soak them in cold water for five minuets, to get rid of the excess starch.
I like to use smoked fish but really anything you’ve got is fine, you can even use other seafood’s as well or instead. I use about a Kilo (two pounds) per pie but you can use less or more.
Hard boil some eggs and then slice them – minimum of one per person
Some cheese is nice – I use a mix of Parmesan for bite and Cheddar for texture.
The White Sauce or in cockney cookery ‘The Liquor’
Melt a tablespoon or big blob of butter in a pan with a splash of oil and stir in some flour.
If you use .00 flour from the deli you’ll get a much smoother sauce than if you use regular baking flour from the corner shop.
When the flour is well mixed into the melted butter let it cook for a bit –but not so long that it changes colour.
Pour in half a cup of milk and stir it like a crazy person until it’s well mixed with few or no lumps.
Keep adding milk until it looks like you’ve got enough sauce for the size of pan you’re using. At this point the sauce should be a bit thinner than you want it to be when you serve it as there will bit a bit of evaporation while it’s in the oven.
Pass the sauce through a sieve – making a lumpy sauce isn’t a crime – serving a lumpy sauce is!
For the simple version:
Add Peas and or Parsley
For the ‘bachelor scissors’ version:
Rinse and squeeze Capers then add them
Finely chop and add at least five anchovies - if you thought you didn’t like anchovies you’ll be surprised – the pie doesn’t taste of anchovy but will have a ‘deeper’ flavour.
Now put the whole thing together
Pour a little sauce into the bottom of your ovenproof dish.
Lay the pieces of fish over the bottom of the dish
Put the cheese (or mix of cheeses) on top
Lay the slices of hardboiled egg on top
Pour on more of the sauce.
Working from the outside of the dish lay the slices of spud in a neat spiral of overlapping slices, working in towards the centre of the dish. Sprinkle a very small amount of oil over the top.
Bake in a hot oven 200ºC (or 392F) until the spuds on to are brown and crispy and the pie is hot all the way through.
For the second time you serve this pie to the same people, you can put a further twist on it by adding some Smoked Bacon or Pancetta. If you’re doing a dinner party (or making them to reheat for lunches at work) you can make the pies in small individual dishes.
Serve with white wine.
On the subject of whine
Bushwacker Jnr tried to turn his nose up at the pie
SBW "food is love"
SBW Jnr "no dad toys are love"
He did eat it and begrudgingly admitted it was 'quite nice'.