It’s hard to past a good pie! Last Sunday I thought I had dinner organised as I’d intended to take home one of our La Cigale beef bourguignon cottage pies. As we’d sold out I had to make something! By the time we got home from work it was far too late for anything slow cooked so I decided on a fish and oyster pie with a puff pastry top – quick, easy and very delicious. There’s no need to use Bluff oysters for this – any local oysters are good. Also if you can’t easily find a large fennel bulb (Jason tells me it’s difficult at the moment), use another leek instead.
Ingredients (for 6)
2 dozen oysters, drained and liquid reserved
4-5 medium size fillets gurnard, each cut into
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
1 large bulb fennel, finely chopped
1 large onion, peeled, finely chopped
1 leek, halved lengthwise and finely sliced
2-3 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 packet of streaky bacon, finely chopped (Marty’s Bentru bacon is best)
½ cup reserved oyster liquid
½ cup fish stock
¼-½ cup white wine
1 cup milk
5 tbps plain flour Bunch of spinach, washed and roughly chopped
Zest of 1 lemon and juice of ½ lemon
Pinch of cayenne pepper
Salt and pepper
1-2 tbps olive oil
Pre-rolled puff pastry
Beaten egg to glaze the pastry
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
In a large pot heat the olive oil and add the celery, onion, leek and fennel. Stir and put the lid on the pot, turn down the heat and cook gently till the vegetables are soft (about 10 minutes). Stir occasionally to ensure the veges don’t stick and they don’t brown. Add the garlic and bacon and cook for another 3-4 minutes.
Stir in the flour and mix for a minute or two. Stir in the wine and then the stock and oyster liquid. Mix well so you don’t have lumps. Add the milk and let the mixture bubble gently and thicken for about 5 minutes. Add the spinach and cook till it has wilted well. Finally add the oysters, fish and seasonings.
If the mix seems too thin for you, thicken with a little cornflour.
Tip the mixture into a deep pie dish and cover the top with puff pastry. Glaze with the beaten egg. Place in the oven. Cook until the pastry is nicely puffed and golden. This should take about 20 minutes.
Serve at once.