There are a couple of things you need to understand to follow this fish pie recipe. Firstly Gareth is the tallest man I know. Each time I see him I can’t help but exclaim, ‘You’re so tall.’ He must get sick of it, but he’s too lovely to say anything. Rhianna is petite enough to be sometimes mistaken for a child. A woman once stopped her car beside Rhianna when she was walking home one night. The woman was worried that a child was out so late. Rhianna had to calmly explain that she was an adult, perfectly capable of walking alone, but she accepted the lift home anyway. So when Anna describes amounts in relation to Gareth and Rhianna sized handfuls, please keep this in mind.
This pie has a definite old world English feel about it. It makes me think of seagulls screeching at a pier on a cold pebbly beach. It has no pastry, just a mashed potato top, which turns brown and crispy when it’s done. The inside should be oozy, with a generous amount of fresh fish. The eggs and scallops hide in the creamy sauce, little delicious jewels to be discovered. I like to make it with the optional dill, but haven’t tried making it with the spoonful of hot English mustard, though I think that little kick to it would work well.
For a Good Friday eve celebration we served this pie with garlic butter green beans and many bottles of wine. I doubled the recipe for a larger pie with no problems. Beware, this pie is so delicious, the two vegetarians at the table tried it, ate it, and asked for second helpings.
Anna’s Granny’s Fish Pie
6 large potatoes, diced
salt & pepper
4 free range eggs
2 Gareth sized handfuls of spinach
1 onion, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 cup of thick-headed cream
2 Rhianna sized handfuls of parmesan, grated
1 lemon juiced
a handful of parsley (not rhianna’s hand, or Gareth’s, but a nice medium sized hand)
450 grams of skinless boneless fish, diced
a Gareth sized handful of scallops
* Optional - dill, preserved lemon, or a teaspoon of hot English mustard
Preheat oven to 180C.
Boil potatoes in salty water until soft. Mash potato with a dash of olive oil, salt, pepper and a sprinkle of nutmeg. Set aside. Hard boil eggs, set aside until cool, peel and quarter. Steam spinach and squeeze out excess water. Fry up the onion and carrots until onions are translucent, then add cream and bring to boil. Remove from heat and stir in lemon juice, parsley, cheese, *dill, and *mustard. Arrange diced fish, eggs, scallops and spinach into a casserole dish. Pour the cream mixture over this. Cover the mixture with mashed potato and bake for 25-30 minutes.