Saturday 24th February
This was entirely accidental. I'd hardly thought about what kind of pie
to make for this month's Waiter, There's Something in my Pie!
before hostess Jeanne of Cook
Sister! fame, and Xochitl (who Cooks) came round with
their respective spouses last weekend to taste the wines we'd
shortlisted for our wedding reception. So as not to spoil the surprise
for any of our guests, let's just say we were very impressed with the
wines from St John's list, and found some spot-on matches to my very
approximate attempt at St John's menu. Of course conversation touched on
the latest must-do
event, and we ran over the rules again: a covered pie,
whether the cover be pastry, polenta, potato or pizza crust.
Put it down to the seven bottles (divide by seven people and seven hours
and it doesn't sound so bad), but when the next day I came to throw the
leftovers together with store cupboard ingredients to make a quick
supper, the connection never entered my mind: until the husband-to-be,
when called to the table, walked into the kitchen and exclaimed "Pie!"
Bingo. Yes, if fish pie is pie and shepherd's pie is pie, then this is
too. It's simpler than either but by using leftovers and pre-cooked
ingredients, you get fantastic strength of flavour with no extra
Mackerel and shallot pie
Leftover roasted shallots, about ten to twelve, peeled and roughly
chopped. You could roast them freshly for this, but it takes about 45
One packet, about 200g, smoked mackerel.
Leftover boiled potatoes, probably the equivalent of two large potatoes
- again, you could boil them now, if you're that excited about making
pie. Give them 15 minutes in boiling salted water.
Large tablespoon crème fraîche
Break up fish and mix with shallots over the base of an ovenproof dish.
Mash potatoes with crème fraîche and spread over fish. Dot
top with butter and bake for 40 minutes until piping hot.