I love fish pie – at least, I think I would if it didn’t have fish in it. Let me explain. I love all of the elements of a fish pie – I adore smoky flavours, I love creamy white wine and dill sauces and buttery mash potato. But what can I use instead of fish to pour all of this deliciousness over?
“Fish pie without the fish?” Sarah looks up from her desk and stares at me.
“Yeah” I say as I rummage through my bag for a packet of brazil nuts.
“Fish pie without the fish?”
“Yes!” I say, still rifling.
“Surely that’s just ‘pie’?” she replies blankly.
“Er yes, but no, because I’m using mushrooms instead of fish.”(I swear I put those Brazil nuts in here, I think to myself, getting slightly more agitated.)
“Oh, so you’re making a mushroom pie?”
“What? No!” I say, as I continue to angrily nosedive into the depths of my bag – why do I have so much shit in here, and why is my bag so big?
“I just told you, I’m making a fish-pie-without-the-fish-and-using-mushrooms-instead… pie.”
“Doesn’t exactly roll off the tongue,” Sarah mutters, as I emerge pink-faced and slightly harassed.
“It’s a mushroom pie with all the flavours of a fish pie, making it more fish pie than mushroom pie in essence, so I can’t call it a mushroom pie, because it encompasses all things fish pie without the fish AND WHERE ARE MY FUCKING BRAZIL NUTS???!!!!!!”
“They’re on your desk.” Sarah points to a packet of Brazil nuts nestled in-between my pen pot and a box of Yorkshire Tea.
“Oh… Thanks.” I say in a small voice, realising my outburst was slightly louder than I was intending.
Sarah turns back to her screen. “Sounds nice,” she says. “But you should call it fish-less pie – bit more clever.”
“Yeah, alright” I say, through a mouthful of a least five Brazil nuts.
Serves 4 / Hands on time 40 mins / Total time 1 hr / V Gf ❄
You’ll need: 25mm x 20mm baking dish
30g unsalted butter
1 medium white onion, chopped
½ tsp sea salt flakes
3 garlic cloves, chopped
250g oyster mushroom
100g button mushrooms
200g smoked tofu, cubed
Juice of ½ a Lemon
2 tsp soy sauce
2 tsp capers
1 tbs white wine vinegar
1 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp smoked paprika
3 spring onions, chopped
5 tbs Greek yogurt
2 handfuls frozen peas (roughly 40g)
Handful fresh parsley, chopped
Handful fresh dill, chopped
900g potatoes, peeled and cube (roughly 4 baking potatoes)
50g unsalted butter
5 tbs Semi-skimmed milk
1-2 tsp sea salt flakes
1. Fill a kettle with water and boil. Meanwhile, roughly peel and chop the potatoes and put them in a large saucepan. Pour over the boiling water from the kettle, add ½ a tsp of salt and bring to the boil. Once boiling, turn the heat down and simmer.
2. Meanwhile, pre-heat an oven to 220°C/200°C fan/425°F/gas mark 7 and make the pie filling. In another large saucepan or cooking pot, sweat the chopped onions in the butter for 5-7 minutes over a medium heat. Add the garlic and ½ a tsp of salt and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes.
3. Tip the mushrooms out onto a chopping board and slice only the very large mushrooms in half, same goes for the button mushrooms. Add to the pot along with the smoked tofu cubes and stir carefully as to not break them up. Cook for a further 5 minutes until the mushrooms start to soften.
4. Add the juice of ½ a lemon along with 2 tsp of soy sauce, 2 tsp of capers, 1 tbs of white wine vinegar, 1 tsp of dijon mustard and 1 tsp of smoked paprika. Add the chopped spring onions, give it all a good stir and continue to cook for a further 5 minutes.
5. Remove the the mushrooms from the heat, pop the lid on and put to one side to cool slightly while you make your mash.
6. Drain the potatoes and put back into the saucepan. Add 50g of butter, 1 to 2 tsp of salt and 5 tbs of milk. Give it all a good mash with a potato masher until you have your desired consistency (add more milk if needed).
7. Turning your attention back to the mushrooms, remove the lid and add the freshly chopped herbs and frozen peas and stir in the yogurt. Spoon the mixture into a baking dish and level out evenly with the back of a spoon. Top with the mash and score with a fork. Bake in the oven for 20-25 mins.
8. Serve sprinkled with chopped parsley, steamed vegetables and a good dollop of dijon mustard.
If you’ve had a go at making my fish-less pie or any of my other recipes, I’d love to hear about it @corrieheale firstname.lastname@example.org
V – Vegetarian Gf – Gluten free ❄ Suitable for home freezing once cooled. Consume within 3 months.