fish pie wine pairing

Pushing the boat out

WINE: Santenay 1er cru, Le Beauregard, Vincent Girardin (Chardonnay)

WITH: Fish pie

WHY: Rich and creamy match up

I probably spend a little more than the average person on a bottle of wine, but even for me this was pushing the boat out a little more than I normally do (and a lot more than I probably should).

As this is such an occasion wine, rather than pair the wine to the food, this was definitely a case of me choosing the food based on the wine. What better to pair up with an elegant white Burgundy than an equally elegant fish pie?

This recipe for fish pie came to me by way of an old, Cordon Bleu-trained friend. It’s inspired, and I wish I could claim to be the one who created this mash up.

What’s so great about this fish pie? Well, that’s just it, there is no mash. Mashed potato on top of a fish pie is something that I really struggle with – texturally it is just one big pile of mush.

Here in place of the mash are delicate slivers of potato poached in milk, and topped with browned, melted cheese.  It’s so simple! It’s so clever! And it’s so damn delicious.

The combination of the pie with the wine was definitely a close-your-eyes-amazing moment.

You can find the wine at Highbury Vintners, and it’s a steal(!) at a mere £25 a bottle. I told you it wasn’t cheap…

Don’t fret though, as if you want to try a more affordable version of white Burgundy that would work just as well in my opinion, then try the Blason De Bourg Pouilly Fuisse (£12.99, Tesco).

Killer fish pie
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Ingredients
  1. 4-5 large baking potatoes, peeled
  2. 1 litre milk
  3. 2 large (or 4 medium) smoked haddock fillets
  4. 1 large leek, sliced
  5. 1 onion, chopped
  6. 1 stick celery, chopped
  7. Plenty of butter
  8. 80g flour
  9. Parsley (optional)
  10. Dill (optional)
  11. Zest and juice of a lemon
  12. Raw de-veined king prawns
  13. Salt & pepper
  14. Grated cheese (I used cheddar)
Instructions
  1. Slice the peeled potatoes into 1/2 – 1 cm slices, put in a pan full of cold milk, top with the smoked haddock and top up so everything is just covered by the milk. Bring to the simmer and cook for about 10 min, till the haddock is flakey, the potatoes should be pretty much fully cooked but if they aren’t leave them in there till they’re cooked (if you over cook them they’ll be difficult to work with though).
  2. Meanwhile fry up leek, onion and celery in some butter till soft, set aside.
  3. Lift the haddock out when it’s cooked and flake it, and then lift or drain the potatoes over a bowl so you keep all the milk.
  4. Spread the potato slices on a plate, it’ll help them cool down so you can arrange them without burning yourself.
  5. Add enough butter to the veg to melt to make a roux, add the flour and cook till no longer floury.
  6. Whisk in the fishy/tatty milk into the sauce and bring to the boil to thicken, add raw chopped or unchopped prawns, flaked haddock, parsley and dill if you like, maybe frozen peas, lemon zest and lemon juice and taste so it’s perfectly seasoned (makes all the difference!)
  7. Pour into a baking dish, top with the potato slices and grated cheese and place under the grill till you’ve got the right topping. The prawns should cook in that time, in the hot sauce.
Julia Bailey http://juliabaileywine.co.uk/

One thought on “Pushing the boat out

  1. I made this recipe at housewarming party and everybody loved it! It tastes absolutely gorgeous and not many calories too :)

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