This fish pie is inspired by a version conceived by Honey & Co (Sarit Packer and Itamar Srulovich) and published in The Financial Times in early 2022.
This way of cooking potatoes in an infused cream until nearly, but just not quite, falling to pieces is heavenly comfort food. Effectively they are potatoes dauphinois. But potatoes dauphinois are a side dish. Our tasters thought there was just a bit too much potato to fish in this pie, and they also commented that the mackerel was a bit too much of a good thing. So in this version we’ve reduced the amount of potato and replaced it with some tinned tuna.
Honey & Co suggest added spinach, peas, or capers to the mix. The capers might work well, but peas and spinach would go better as a side. Follow this link for the fastest way to cook spinach (boil a kettle and pour it over the spinach in a colander in the sink). Follow this link for how to cook frozen peas (not in boiling water).
Mackerel and tuna potato pie
Serves – 4
- 180 ml/¾cup milk
- 240 ml/1 cup cream
- A few strands of saffron
- Couple of bay leaves…or you could experiment with curry leaves
- Generous grinds of black pepper
- 6 allspice berries
- 600g/1 lb 5 oz potatoes – about three medium potatoes
- A walnut or two of butter
- 1 large leek
- 150g/5 oz tin of tuna in oil
- 300g/10 oz smoked mackerel
- Preheat the oven to 180°C.
- In a small milkpan mix the milk, cream, saffron, leaves (bay or curry), and the pepper. Grind the allspice in a pestle and mortar. Add to the creamy mix. Heat gently to get it to just simmering.
- Meanwhile peel the potatoes and then slice (2cm/½”), cutting any very large slices in half.
- Put in a saucepan, cover with water, add some salt and bring to the boil. Simmer for five minutes. Drain.
- Slice the leek into thin rounds, and fry gently in a walnut or two of butter for about five minutes.
- Take the skin off the mackerel and flake. Drain the tuna. Mix together.
- Butter a casserole dish which has a lid. Put in layers of about a third each of leeks, fish and then potatoes. Take the leaves out of the creamy mix and pour (distributing it over all the surface) over about a third of it. Repeat another two times. If you are making this ahead of time it is better to stop here rather than baking and then reheating the finished dish, otherwise the potato goes a bit dry.
- Bake (from room temperature, and covered) for about twenty minutes. If you are taking it straight out of the fridge then add an extra ten minutes cooking time.
- Then take off the lid and bake for another 25 minutes – the potato should have turned a lovely golden colour.