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S01 Fish Pie & Txakoli-Tastes Like home

by | Jan 11, 2022

1 kilo of fish (a mix of pollack, salmon & some smoked fish like haddock)
1 handful of oats
1 small onion
2 handfuls of mussels
25g butter
225g mushrooms

2 bay leaf
600ml milk

25g of butter, and 25g of flour to make a Roux
1 or 2 tbsp double cream
2 tbsp parsley
1 tbsp dill
4 hard-boiled eggs
1.2 kg mash potato
salt and pepper

Methods of Cooking

  • Add the mussels into a bowl of cold water and sprinkle in a handful of oats and leave to soak for 3-4 hours or overnight ideally.
  • Drain the mussels and rinse off any oats, make sure all the mussels are still tightly shut, throw away any open ones, place into a dry pan and cook until open, takes 3-4 minutes, remove the mussels from the shell and leave to one side.
  • Cook the potatoes, then mash them and put to one side.
  • Hard-boil the eggs by bringing a small pan of water the boil, add the eggs and keep it at a gentle boil, set the timer for 8 mins, cook, then drain and leave to cool in a bowl of cold water.
  • Cut the filleted fish into bite size bits and place them as a single layer into a large frying pan and cover with milk and season with salt and pepper, cover and simmer gently until the fish is cooked, takes about 4 minutes, once cooked remove fish and set to one side.
  • Once cool flake the fish making sure to remove all skin and bones and put to one side.
  • Finely chop the onion, add to a pan over a medium-low heat, stir/shake to prevent sticking or burning but don’t cover the pan, once the onions have gone soft and translucent, remove.
  • Turn up the heat in the pan, add the mushrooms, season and sauté, once cooked put aside with the onions.
  • To make a roux melt the butter in a pan, stir in the flour and cook for 1 min over moderate heat,  take off the heat, pour in a little of the cold poaching milk, then stir until blended, continue to add the milk gradually, mixing well until you have a smooth sauce.
  • Bring the liquid to the boil, add the cream, onions, mushrooms, cooked mussels (minus the shell) and all the flaked fish.
  • Peel and chop the eggs and add to mixture, stir gently and check seasoning, then add the herbs.
  • Spoon all of the creamy fish mixture into a large oven dish and cover the top with the mashed potato and place the dish into the pre-heated oven Gas Mark 4, 180°C (350°F) for 30 minutes, then place under a hot grill for an extra 5 mins to brown the potato on the top
  • Garnish with additional parsley.

To “wet or dry cure” and ‘hot smoke’ your own fish in a biscuit tin smoker. 

  • Make your own dry fish cure: a 50:50 mix of granulated brown sugar and coarse sea salt or rock salt (avoid fine salt it leaves the fish too salty), also add some coarse ground black pepper & lemon zest.
  • To cure the haddock, lay a sheet of clingfilm down, sprinkle on a layer of the cure, place the fish on top, and sprinkle over some more cure.
  • Generally a handful of cure will be enough for a couple of small fish, wrap the fish and cure tight in clingfilm, and place in the fridge overnight.
  • Remove from the fridge, rinse off the cure using water and pat dry with kitchen towel.
  • Place back in the fridge uncovered for a minimum of 6-8 hours to allow the pellicle to form – this is a sticky, salty surface layer that helps the smoke particles stick to the fish.
  • Make your own wet cure: Heat the water to a boil and mix in all the ingredients, add 1 litre of water, to 100g of brown sugar and 100g of salt to a pan and heat until the salt and sugar has dissolved.
  • Cool to room temperature and then put the brine into the refrigerator and allow it to cool completely, as the brine must be cold when the fish is added.
  • Pour the liquid into a bowl of wide container and then place your fish into it skin side up and leave to soak for 2-3 hours depending on the thickness of the fish .
  • When you are ready to smoke, remove from the liquid and pat dry with paper towels and add to the smoker


  • If you don’t have a smoker then use an old biscuit tin, wash it out and punch holes in the lid to allow the smoke to escape.
  • Sprinkle two tablespoons of sawdust (apple wood or similar) on the base of a rectangular biscuit tin or a small handful of bbq wood chips (applewood or others) avoid hickory it’s too strong for fish.
  • Put a wire rack into the tin and lay the fish, flesh side up on top.
  • Put the tin over a high heat for a minute or so until the sawdust / wood starts to smoulder, or on a gas jet
  • Place the lid on the tin, reduce the heat and smoke for 5 -15 minutes, turn off the heat and allow to sit unopened for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the fish from the tin and add to the rest of the fish for cooking in the fish pie.

Txakoli Jellies

Serves 6-10 in small to medium glasses


250ml sparkling rosé wine (Txakoli)

8 tbsp. sugar

6 large basil leaves

9 leaves gelatine

250ml cold water, to soften the gelatine

500ml very cold rosé (Txakoli)

1 large orange, zest only

2 peaches peeled and sliced

Small sprigs of basil to decorate


  • Place 6-10 champagne or small glasses on a tray and in the fridge to chill.
  • Heat the rosé and sugar in a medium saucepan.
  • Add some zest of orange and 3 basil leaves to the wine mix and boil.
  • Place the gelatin leaves in the cold water and leave to soften, once soft squeeze out the excess water.
  • Dissolve the gelatin in the warm rosé and stir until melted.
  • Strain to remove the basil and orange.
  • Pour into a jug and add 500ml cold rosé.
  • Refrigerate and stir frequently until the mix just begins to set (this will stop the fruit from floating to the top).
  • Blanch the peaches, cool off in iced water and peel, then cut into small slices.
  • Flash cook 3 basil leaves in boiling water and cool off in ice water.
  • Cut basil leaves into fine strips.
  • Divide peach slices and basil between the chilled glasses, add in some orange zest and pour over the partially set jelly mixture.
  • Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge overnight.
  • To serve, place a sprig of basil on the edge of each glass.

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