Smoked fish pie
SMOKED FISH PIE
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Fish pie is arguably the definition of comfort food – warm, straight-forward and filling. It perfectly suits informal communal eating, where comfort-troffing and one hand eating is encouraged. Watching people sitting around the table helping themselves to a piping hot fish pie adds another layer of comfort for me. For an old school favourite, top the pie with mash potato instead of pastry.
500 g skinless hapuka fillet or similar white flesh fish, cut into 4cm cubes
400 g smoked trout, skin and bones removed, flaked
700 ml full cream milk
1 leek, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 bay leaves
50 g butter
3 tablespoons plain flour
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1 lemon, rind only
½ cup dill (roughly 1 bunch), finely chopped
Salt and pepper
375 g puff pastry (I like Carême puff pastry - made with butter)
equipment - 2L pie dish
Preheat oven to 180 °C
Place hapuka into a deep saucepan with milk, leek, garlic and bay leaf. Simmer over low heat for 6 minutes, then add trout. Continue to simmer for another 4 minutes. Strain milk into a jug and place the fish and leek to the side, discarding the bay leaves.
Clean the saucepan and place back onto the stove. Melt butter, add flour and stir with a wooden spoon for 3 minutes until well combined. Add a ¼ cup of the milk back into the saucepan. Use a balloon whisk to combine. Now gently pour the remaining milk back into the saucepan, whisking continuously for 5 to 8 minutes or until you have a thick sauce. Stir in mustard and dill and season generously with salt and pepper.
Add fish into your milk mixture and gently combine. Allow mixture to cool and then transfer fish mixture to your pie dish. It’s always better having a cooled mixture for a pie to give the pastry top the best chance to rise and get crisp.
Cut your puff pastry to fit your pie dish with at least 1 cm over-hanging. Place it over the top of your dish and using a fork, press down the edges to seal. Make a small incision to the pastry to allow steam to escape. If you are feeling creative, cut out a fish shape using left over pastry and stick on to the top of your pie.
Brush the top of your pie with beaten egg, then bake the pie in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until the pastry is golden and puffed.