When we went to Mollymook a couple of months ago, we had dinner one night at Rick Stein’s restaurant. While overall the restaurant didn’t blow me away (particularly for the price), I did love the fish pie. A bit of googling and I found the recipe had been published in a UK newspaper some years ago. Since it was Good Friday, and I had some leisurely time in the kitchen, I thought I would have a go at making it. It is a very rich, but very delicious, dish. Serves 4. A very simple green salad would go well to contrast the richness.
A few notes on the recipe
– I found the veloute – though decadent and tasty – to be a little thicker than what we had at the restaurant. I would next time reduce the amount of roux (flour/butter) a little, rather than add more stock as the quantity of veloute you end up with is more than plenty.
– Next time I’d also put some finely chopped parsley through the base of the pie, some green would be nice and add that touch of freshness.
– Also the original amount of crust was 30g of butter and 50g of Panko, but this ended up being a rather thin crust so I doubled it.
– I used unsalted butter, otherwise if your stock is salty the overall dish might end up being too salty.
– while this was made in one large dish, it would also be lovely in individual ramekins
For the velouté
600ml fish stock
50g plain flour
2 bay leaves
1 crushed clove
1 pinch freshly grated nutmeg
Place the stock and milk in a pot and bring to the boil then take off the heat. Melt the butter in a saucepan, add the flour and cook for about two minutes, stirring constantly. When it starts to smell nutty, add a third of the stock and milk mixture, and keep stirring until it thickens and is completely smooth. Add another third and stir, then add the final third and, when smooth, stir in the bay leaves, clove and nutmeg and leave to simmer gently for about half an hour. Pour the velouté through a sieve and set aside.
For the pie
200g finely chopped onion
30g parmesan cheese, grated
50ml double cream
Juice of ½ lemon
400g fish fillet (I used monkfish, snapper would also work well)
200g shellfish or crustaceans (I used prawns and scallops, a bit of crab would be lovely as well)
30ml vegetable oil
10g butter, extra
100g button mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 tsp French mustard
1 tsp truffle oil
Preheat oven to 180C
Slow-cook the onion in the butter in a saucepan for 10 minutes or until softened. Pour the strained veloute into the sautéed onions and add the parmesan, double cream and lemon juice. Set aside.
Cut the fish fillet into bite-size pieces. Season with a little salt and turn over in the flour. Fry for 2-3 minutes in a frying-pan over a medium heat using the vegetable oil and butter (the fish does not need to be fully cooked). Remove the fish to your pie dish. Fry the mushrooms in the same pan, adding a little salt; stir in the mustard and add to the pie dish. Now add the shellfish or crustaceans to the pie dish. They can be put in raw, but if large, slice. Drizzle the truffle oil over. Pour the sauce over the fish.
For the crust
100g Japanese panko breadcrumbs
60g melted butter
Mix the breadcrumbs with the melted butter, and spread over the top. Bake for 20 minutes so that crust is lightly golden.