Tuesday, 18 September 2012

hugh fearnley-whittingstall's creamy fish pie

It's been a long time since I last updated this blog - June as Kendra and Lucy have kindly pointed out - and I can only offer the excuse I've been very busy. Sorry. Hopefully we'll be back on it from now on, whatever 'it' is, and I'll attempt to catch up in someway over the coming weeks, or until the festive season of wine events my calendar/liver.

Still, we're back with a bang tonight with one of my favourite comfort dishes to make: Hugh's creamy fish pie. Every stage of this is a joy to make, and it's so easy: from letting the fish gently poach in milk, to mashing the potatoes and making the bechemel with the fishy cow juice, it's all strangely satisfying.

Given we're all suffering from some sort of cold at the moment, even Kay and Mike who are up for two day's school run, it's like a big fishy scarf/hot water bottle when it comes out of the oven. Just imagine that for a moment. It sounds terrible, but there's nothing more warming, welcoming and instantly snot-battling than the smell of smoked haddock and mashed potato.

Interestingly, we've switched to frozen fish these days, mainly because it's vastly cheaper. The only downside as far as I can tell is the fact the frozen fillet tend to lose their shape and flake, rather than stay chunky, but with the pie I think that's a minor gripe. Yet again we're all restrained enough to leave some for Milo's tea tomorrow, although he's insisted he wants the prawns separately for 'pudding', and for my lunch, so we must be coming down with something.

Wine Time
You've got creamy bechemel and smokey haddock dominating this dish, so I'd go with something similarly rich and buttery, but with a touch of the timber - but only a touch, otherwise you'd overpower it all. An AC Burgundy should do it, or any lightly-oaked chardonnay depending on whether you like greener fruit (Old World) or more tropical flavours (New World). Or steaming mugs of tea, like us.

creamy fish pie - Saint Hugh and Fizz Carr, The River Cottage Family Cookbook, p248

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