The Storks of Böbs

The Storks of Böbs
A Very Fine Pair

St Martins Weekend Fish Pie

For various reasons we decided to celebrate St Martins day, but least because of its religious nuances, more because of the Goose and also it was The Nordic Film Festival in Lübeck and My daughter and partner and our dear friend Kalle were coming to stay.

Bit of Luxurious Fish Pie.
 My Daughter and partner were coming to stay for the weekend, they would be arriving Friday evening and as normal hungry (when are they ever not?). So I decided on something that could be made up front and just slipped into the oven either just before or on arrival, so it was a pie, always a good one that can be made up front, We decided on a Fish Pie as it is easy to assemble, can be made well before hand and is one of Janice’s favourites (and surprise, surprise also Linda’s).
I sorted out what fish I had in the freezer, I had of course plenty of cod from my last fishing trip, I had a few pieces of Pollack, some frozen King Prawns, a small amount of Fruiti-de-Mare . I went to my local fish monger (Gosch) to see what was offer, I bought 2 filets of Plaice, a nice piece of Tuna, a piece of smoked Halibut (this was in place of the none existent smoked haddock) a slice of hot smoked salmon (Stremmellachs) and some cooked prawns. So that was the fish taken care of.

1kg Selection of fish both smoked and unsmoked.
500ml of milk
1 clove of garlic, crushed
1 small onion, thinly sliced
1 tsp of mace
1 pinch of cinnamon powder
2 bay leaves
Remove the skin and bones from the fish

In a saucepan, add this to the milk and add all of the above spices, onion and garlic, heat gently and allow to infuse at a very low heat for  30 mins. Strain the liquor through a hair sieve, discard the residue. 

Poach the rest of the fresh and defrosted fish in this, when cooked, remove from the liquor with a slotted spoon into an oven-proof flat terrine. Break the smoked fish into bite sized pieces and scatter with the cooked prawns

In a clean saucepan make a Roux, with 30g of butter and 30g of plain flour, slowly adding the warm poaching liquor while whisking all of the time, allow to cook out, the resulting sauce should just coat the back of a spoon, add a good handful of defrosted garden peas.

Pour the resulting sauce over the fish in the terrine, cover with cling film and put into the fridge overnight.

Next day make your potato topping.
1.5kg of floury potatoes
50g of butter
50ml of catering cream (you can use real cream if you wish)
1 large egg
Small handful of chopped parsley
50g of grated cheese (Emmentaler, Greyér, Cheddar or whatever takes tickles your fancy)
1 heaped tsp of English mustard
Salt and white pepper.

Peel and boil your potatoes until they are just starting to break up, strain and allow to cool a little, push through a ricer, add the egg and beat in slowly, add the butter and cream (warmed together) beating with a wooden spoon until smooth and creamy, stir in the mustard and the parsley.

Add the cheese, reserving 10g for the top, adjust the seasoning (you may not require salt, depending on the cheese).

Using a palate knife and starting at the outside, pile the topping over the fish filling (none of the filling should squidge out as it will be set firm from being cooled overnight). Now run the back of a fork along the top of the topping (this is not only for decoration but also makes for crispy browning, sprinkle with the remaining cheese.

This can be set aside in the fridge until required.

Pre-heat the oven (fan assisted 180°C) and place the pie on a grid in the oven for 15 minutes, raising temperature to 200°C for a further 5 minutes to crisp up top. (You could put it under the grill if you wish for the last 5 minutes). Serve at once, we had it with broccoli.

A nice crisp white wine goes excellently with this; we had a German White Burgundy. 

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