The week is British Pie Week (6th – 12th March) which traditionally celebrates pies with a variety of fillings but mainly pastry toppings.
Here at Ramus we love a delicious Fish Pie and sell a very traditional one made with a creamy sauce with a little white wine and parsley, packed full of a variety of salmon, haddock & smoked haddock and topped with smooth creamy potato. Served with a generous portion of green vegetables it makes a wonderfully comforting and nutritious supper.
Our neighbour on Kings Road, Harrogate, Wot’s Cooking, also makes a delicious ready-made Fish Pie but theirs is made in the Floridean style with added mushrooms, an ingredients that is also added by Raymond Blanc and Rick Stein in varieties of their dishes.
Jamie Oliver is a big fan of fish pie, citing it as one of his family’s favourite meals, and among his many recipes he includes fish pies made with and without creamy sauce, lots of additional vegetables and even one for lobster and Prosecco sauce.
On the Ramus recipe website www.ramus.co.uk/recipes, you’ll find several recipes for variations on a fish pie, including a delicious one from Bettys Cookery School, which may look long but is really worth the effort to make!
What fish to use?
Traditionally fish pie has been make with a mix of fish pieces, including smoked fish but the joy of fish pie is that you can use anything from cod and haddock to pollack, monkfish or hake. Add in smoked fish such as haddock and even add in shellfish such as prawns and scallops or lobster and crab for a special occasion. Even mackerel & mussels can work well; just use whatever sustainable fish is in season.
On our fish counters we sell a ready prepared mix of sustainable fish pieces, handily chopped into bite sized chunks. Our new Catch of the Day range, available in local farm shops and delis, also includes a Luxury Fish Pie Mix of cod, tuna, salmon and smoked haddock, so it’s very easy to create your own delicious fish pie at home.
What topping to go for?
Creamy mashed potato seems to be the favourite topping for fish pie and indeed it is often called ‘Fisherman’s Pie; due to its similarity to Shepherd’s Pie. However it doesn’t need to be exclusive, with many chefs, adding onions, leeks or even peas to the mix! Why not try a sweet potato mash for added colour and healthiness? Lorraine Pascal has a delicious looking recipe with a mixed sweet and white potato topping with added veg.
However if you are keen to celebrate British Pie week with a more traditional pastry pie, then look no further that the Cornish Stargazy pie. Traditionally baked with pilchards, eggs and potatoes, covered with a pastry crust, the key feature of a stargazy pie is the fish heads which protrude from the crust, allowing the oils released during cooking to flow back into the pie. Possibly not for the fainthearted but chef Mark Hix did win the BBC’s Great British Menu in 2007 with a variety of the dish!