A comforting way to enjoy fish in winter, a seafood pie with silvers and squid makes for an impressive dinner option. As the final recipe in my feature with Vriesenhof Vineyards, I’ve paired my pie with the estate’s 2016 Pinot Noir – a beautifully matured wine redolent of strawberries. Offering a lushly fertile scent on the nose and notes of dried peach and sour cherry, Vriesenhof’s Pinot Noir compliments the delicate flavour of the seafood but is still robust enough to hold its own against the buttery pastry I’ve used for my pie.
Sustainable fish like silvers, Cape Hope squid and black mussels make an appearance instead of prawns and shrimp, thus this version of fish pie celebrates affordable local seafood. Here I’ve filleted my own squid and fish, but have also made use of store-bought haddock to add a smoky depth to the filling. Most importantly, I’ve added my own fish stock – easily made by bringing a pot of water, onion, celery and fish offcuts to the boil, simmering for 20 minutes, straining and using. Alternatively, one can also use any leftover sauce from my previous Vriesenhof recipe for Mussels with Parsnip and Parmesan. I shelled any remaining mussels and froze them in their sauce, defrosting them when required for the seafood pie.
Although mashed potato is considered the more traditional topping, I find that the rich flakiness of puff pastry holds up better to the Pinot Noir, making for a decadent dish. Lemony steamed greens like petit pois, broccolini, baby Brussels sprouts or even charred fennel are all ideal accompaniments to the pie.
Seafood pie with silver fish
Prep time: 40 mins / Cook time: 30 mins / Serves: 6-10
You will need:
- 300g firm white fish like carpenter, hake or monkfish, filleted and cut into chunks
- 150g fresh squid, cleaned and sliced
- 150g fresh mussels, cleaned, steamed and shells discarded
- 150g haddock (smoked hake), boned and flaked
- Butter, for frying
- 1 small brown onion, peeled and finely diced
- 4 leeks, rinsed and thinly sliced
- 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 90g plain flour
- 300ml homemade fish stock
- 250ml fresh cream (or leftover mussel sauce)
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 4 sprigs of fresh dill
- 400g ready-rolled puff pastry, defrosted
- Plain flour, for dusting
- 1 egg, beaten
- Coarse ground sea salt and black pepper
Heat the olive oil and butter in a large saucepan over medium heat and fry the onion and leeks until soft and translucent. Stir through the crushed garlic and plain flour to create a thickened paste. Cook for a minute then pour in the fish stock, whisking the mixture until smooth. Slowly add in the cream and lemon juice, stirring to combine. The sauce needs to evenly coat the back of a spoon. When thickened to the right consistency, remove the sauce from the heat.
Stir through the white fish, sliced squid, mussel meat and haddock then add in the dill, discarding the stalks. Season the mixture to taste and transfer into a large ovenproof dish.
Roll out the puff pastry on a lightly floured surface to fit the pie dish. Gently cover the pie mixture with the pastry, pressing the edges down to seal in the filling. Use a pie bird or alternatively poke a few holes in the pastry to let steam escape. Brush the pastry all over with beaten egg and bake the pie in a preheated 220°C oven until golden and flaky.
Serve the pie with a side of your choice, extra lemon wedges and a bottle of Vriesenhof 2016 Pinot Noir.