I’m going to get all boasty now and say that I am famous around these parts for my fish pie. Well I am among my friends anyway and there’s also a local chef who’d like my recipe. It’s one of my favourite suppers and one that was out of bounds for a long time except as a pub meal. My ex hated it. He’d scour his meal for bones and inevitably find the only one around. It was torture to watch. Luckily Louis hasn’t inherited his dad’s abhorrence. He’s a big fan of my signature dish.
Here’s one I made earlier, a few years ago in fact. Oops! I forgot to photograph my most recent offering. Along with smoked fish, a white flaky number, large prawns, fresh parsley and peas my olden days pie used to contain salmon. However being a weirdo, Hot Stuff doesn’t like it. So when I made one the other day I came up with a substitute. Frozen scallops, a parting gift from my American friend, the Second Martha Stewart when she left these shores, made a very nice replacement indeed. Unsurprisingly Hot Stuff didn’t turn his nose up at those. Back along my fish came from the supermarket, normally yellow sticker offerings saved for the purpose. Now I tend to source it from the local market. It seems right and proper when you live in town that’s at the heart of the UK fishing trade.
I cover the fish and the honorary vegetable in a white sauce. Sorry I can’t give proportions of ingredients as I do this by eye. A good dollop of butter and a similar amount of flour goes in a saucepan and forms a great big lump. It looks like you’ll never get rid of the bloody thing. But little by little, with stirring and the addition of milk a smooth sauce forms. Voila! as Raymond Blanc would say. Just a little bit of seasoning and it’s ready to be mixed into the fish.
I top the lot with buttery mashed potatoes. The finishing touch is enough grated vintage cheddar to keep a whole colony of mice very happy for a long time. Purists don’t like a mixture of cheese and fish. Bollocks to them I say! All that’s left then is for it to be oven baked at 200 degrees Celsius until the cheese bubbles and crisps up. About half an hour did the trick. Perfect!
I’m not really sure what makes my pie special. Perhaps it’s because I don’t skimp on the dairy. Fat free this isn’t but do you really want to be counting calories when making a meal that is a special treat? This, friends, is the Brixham equivalent of soul food!