Mate With a Plate: Smoked Fish Pie by Anton Matthews

Long Lunch 20/08/2018
Photo: Anton Matthews.

Smoked Fish Pie by Anton Matthews:
Serves a family of five no problem.

450g Smoked Fish (a mix is always nice. The great thing about fish pie is that you can use all those little bits of fish that are left over so feel free to throw it all in there. If you can get your hands on smoked fish or you have a bit of salmon lying around that will make a huge difference too).
200ml runny cream
100ml blue milk
200ml chicken stock
3 x cloves of garlic (peeled and finely chopped)
1 x medium white onion (diced)
1 x medium carrot (grated)
1 cup of your fave frozen veggies from the freezer to keep mum happy
1 x big knob of butter
100g smoked cheese
5 - 6 big spuds for mashing
Salt and pepper

Before you get started, turn your oven on to grill and heat to 180 degrees. You’ll need to finish your pie in here later on.

First things first, cut your spuds in to quarters and throw them in a pot and fill with water. Give the water a good healthy pinch of salt and bring to the boil. You’ll need to keep an eye on these over the next 30 mins or so.

* Optional - peel your spuds before you cut them up if you like that. When I was growing up, we just left the skin on and I never really cared so I don’t bother peeling the spuds at home.

Next, you’ll need a big, deep saucepan to make the pie mix. I use a old cast iron crock pot because it’s my fave thing to cook with but anything with a bit of depth will do. Just remember there’s a lot of kai to go in though.

Start your pie mix by melting the knob of butter in your deep saucepan and throw your diced onions in to sweat them off. Then tip in your garlic and keep it moving in the saucepan. Spend a bit of time here to keep everything moving so the onion doesn’t burn. Getting this right now will make all the difference later on.

Once the onion and garlic have cooked through, add the carrots and the rest of your veggies and get those moving around the pan too. Within about 2 - 3 minutes you should have an almost stir fry looking thing going on.

When you think everything in your pan is cooked nicely, it’s time to add your liquids. Start with your chicken stock and give everything a stir through. You’ll want to think about turning your heat down at this point. You don’t want to let that stock start boiling just yet.

Add all of your cream to the mix and give everything a good season with salt & PEPPER. So many people just add salt because they think they don’t like pepper but trust me, salt & pepper need to hang out together.

You’ll need to give everything a really good mix up now because we’re about to add the fish and once we do that we sort of want to try to leave it as much as we can so we don’t have to destroy the fish by mixing like a mad man later.

Take all the fish that you have and if it needs to be cut up then do that. 2cm pieces is about as big as you’ll want to go and anything smaller is fine.

Drop your fish into the saucepan to “poach” it in all that creamy goodness. You’re almost done now. Bring the mix to the boil and then turn down to simmer for another five minutes. By this time, everything (including your fish) will be well cooked through and your mix will be tasting delicious.

Once the pie mix has reduced nicely to “thick sauce” like consistency (not too runny), take it off the boil and give it a quick taste. If you think it needs a bit of salt and pepper, now would be the time to add a little more before you start to assemble your yummy fish pie.

Hopefully by now, your spuds are nicely cooked through and ready for mashing. Drain all the water and get your masher out to start bashing away. Give your spuds a good mashing and then add your milk to the pot. Give it another mash and hopefully the milk will have made your spuds nice and creamy. Feel free to taste and add some salt & pepper if you need to.

Fill your fave baking dish 2/3 full with all of your fish pie mix. Make sure you scrape all those bits from the corners out too!

* Optional - throw a handful or two of baby spinach on top of your mix to add get a few more greens in there if you like (this can be expensive out of season so it’s not the be all and end all, just a bonus).

Top it off with your mashed spuds and use a fork to push it out to the edges to try and seal it all up.

Sprinkle your cheese all over and throw the whole thing in the oven for 5 minutes. Keep a close eye on it because all you’re really trying to do is grill that cheese and get some crispy bits of potato on top so don’t forget about it. It will burn.

Take it out of the oven, throw a board on the table and let everyone dig in.

Put your left overs in a snap lock container and take to work tomorrow. Reheated fish pie for lunch tomorrow is what’s up!


The Long Lunch with Carly Flynn in for Wendyl Nissen, 12pm - 3pm on RadioLIVE and streaming live to the rova app on Android and iPhone.