This is a variation on traditional fish pie and does not have a mashed potato topping. It is easy to make, and the choice of ingredients means it can be produced as an inexpensive dish or as a luxury dinner party starter. The shaped pastry biscuits are an attractive feature to encourage children to try a fish dish, and Dorset is of course well supplied with a variety of local fish.
For a basic pie, most supermarkets sell a mixture of good quality fish off-cuts, but make sure that at least one sort of smoked fish is included. For a special dish, almost any combination of such fish as salmon, trout, smoked haddock, prawns or shellfish can be included.
450g (1lb) mixed fish
100g (4oz) frozen mixed vegetables
300 ml (½ pint ) roux sauce
100g (4oz) frozen shortcrust pastry
Carefully wash the fish and boil it for approximately 8-10 minutes. When cool, tip into a large bowl, flake and remove any skin and bones. Boil the mixed vegetables for 3–4 minutes, drain and add to the fish mixture.
White (roux) sauce (Can be made on hob or in microwave)
Melt 25g (1oz) butter and add 25g (1oz) plain flour. Blend well together with ½ pint of warm milk and 25g (1oz) grated cheese. Stir until it thickens, then pour over the fish and vegetables, mix well. Transfer to an 800ml (1¼ pint) pie dish or four ramekins, season to taste – a small spoonful of tartare sauce is optional.
Fishy biscuits – These can be made a day or two ahead.
Roll the shortcrust pastry and cut out the fish shapes you want. Brush them with egg yolk and bake until almost golden brown. Decorate the fish mix with them and return to the oven. (Gas Mark 4, 180ºC) until it is piping hot and serve with a green vegetable if desired.Should you have more pie than is required, the surplus can be made into a gorgeous fish chowder, by adding sufficient milk and a dash of pepper to give a rich soupy texture.