This is from the St Michael All Colour Budget Cookery Book by Audrey Ellis. I can’t locate a date of publication inside it, but am guessing late seventies, possibly early eighties. It’s chocka with lovely all colour photos of things that mostly look mainly edible. Mindful of both my wallet and my health I’ve been trying to eat more fish instead of meat, so last Monday I cobbled together this fish pie:
Family Fish Pie
The skin can be removed after cooking if preferred but some cooks believe it adds to the flavour of the milk stock.
1kg coley or other white fish, skinned (I used coley)
2 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and roughly chopped
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
225g frozen peas, defrosted
1kg freshly cooked potatos, mashed.
Place the fish in the saucepan, cover with the milk and poach for 10 minutes. Lift out the fish with a slotted spoon draining spoon, remove the bones and flake the fish. Reserve the milk for the sauce.
Heat the butter in a saucepan, stir in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Gradually add the milk and bring to the boil, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat. Stir in the flaked fish and chopped eggs and season to taste. Pour the mixture into a buttered baking dish. Cover with the defrosted peas and spread the mashed potatoes over the top. Bake in a fairly hot oven (200°C/ 400°F/ Gas Mark 6) for 30 minutes or until golden-brown on top.
(Photo came out pretty badly, I’m afraid, although to be honest the colours and general ennui of the pie are accurate).
Throughout eating this pie the one thing that kept occuring to me was that it was a very functional pie. Cheap, mostly healthy, filling, but ultimately boring. It worked as food, but that was about it. Budget option it very obviously is, but even budget options can taste of something, whereas this tasted of mildly seasoned fish, and peas and very plain potatos.