Thursday, 26 July 2012

All in one Cheesy Yorkshire Fish Pie (and more) for Best of British

What a beautiful day today. The sun is shining brightly and no cloud is to be seen on a blue sky. It's 35°C or more. Just a perfect day ... to be in the kitchen and do a lot of baking and cooking. So ... pump up the sound system and put some summer music on.
There would still be plenty of time to prepare a post for the current Best of British challenge, which is taking us this month to Yorkshire. The Best of British challenge is hosted this month by Karen from Lavender & Lovage. The whole event is sponsored by The Face of New World Appliances. Have a look at London Unattached from Fiona as well. After a lot of research and some extra motivation I'm ready now. In detail that means we are having some fish: Cheesy Yorkshire Fish Pie.

However, before we come to that, some other thoughts. Yorkshire! What comes to your mind, when you think about it? You can leave a comment and tell me. 
My friend Stuart, always a nice person ... that is if you have humour and can look beyond the obvious. He is from Yorkshire, but not living there anymore. At home he has some coasters with the Yorkshire motto on it:

"'Ear all, see all, say nowt;
Eyt all, sup all, pay nowt;
And if ivver the does owt fer nowt -
Do it fer thissen."

What, you don't understand that? I think you have weans and mays ... oh sorry ... confused the letters ... you have means and ways to find out. Enough of all that! We like to concentrate on some food now.
First of all, I got a few things from the garden, some herbs and those here:

You will see them later again. A few other things I still needed to get from the shop or the farmer's market for luckily that one was today. Unfortunately the fish stall wasn't there today. No worries, I just went to the local fish monger, which is very close by. He had to advertise his next door restaurant as well, which in fact is acclaimed by the Guide Michelin as well. Maybe I check it another day, whether that is still valid. For now, I just got some ling fillet.
Having all ingredients ready we could have a go at the fish pie now, but ... somehow I didn't feel quite satisfied with just doing one Yorkshire recipe. In order to keep me going I decided to start off with some Fat Rascals - quick and simple (if you do it right).

Fat Rascals
350 g of self-raising flour (if you do it right)
175 g of butter
50 g of sultanas
50 g of dried cranberries
50 g of blanched almonds
50 g of amarena cherries
One (poor) beaten egg
50 ml of milk (or less)

Sift the flour into a bowl and add the butter. Crumble it together with the tips of your finger (isn't it luvly to get your hands dirty?). Then ... simply throw in all other ingredients apart from the milk and make a relatively dry dough. Add only as much milk as you need or it gets to wet (and you are not doing it right).
Form about ten round, two centimetre thick objects and place them on a baking tray, which you have lined with baking parchment. Bake the whole lot at 200°C for about 20 minutes.

Oh, I must have done something wrong, for I have more then 10 ...

It's best then to continue with the main thing, The Cheesy Yorkshire Fish Pie!

What you don't need:
A ringing phone
Someone knocking at the door
A wounded finger

What you need (in order of appearance - roughly):
400 g of white-fleshed fish
275 ml of goats' milk (or other)
275 ml of water
One lemon cut into four wedges
A handful of parsley - chopped
Salt, Pepper
700 g of potatoes - peeled
A knob of butter
More goats' milk
100 g blue veined cheese (preferably Yorkshire Blue - that is if you have easy access)
A splash of olive oil
One onion - finely chopped
A few carrots (depending on size - see above) - chopped
Two spring onions - chopped into rings
A hand full of peas
A few sprigs of thyme - of course only the leaves of it
A bunch of chives
A bit of cheddar - just making sure it's cheesy enough

How you could go about:
If you like or need you can cut the fish into smaller pieces. Mix the 275 ml water and 275 ml goats' milk in a pan and add the fish, the lemon and the parsley. Season with salt and pepper. Bring it to the boil and then let it simmer for 8 minutes.
Meanwhile boil your potatoes until they are ... eh ... mashable.
Meanwhile meanwhile sauté the onion, spring onions, carrots, and peas with the olive oil.
When the potatoes are mashable ... do just that, together with a knob of butter, the blue cheese, and a bit of goats' milk.
Once you have all that jobs done we can put things together in a 30 x 30 cm oven proof dish. 
First, we put the fish. You can discard the lemon and most of the cooking milk-water.

Add the herbs - that is chives and thyme leaves.

Yes, you are right again. The difference between the last two photos is only tiny. Let us go on then and add the mashed potatoes and grate some cheddar over it.

Done? Put it under the grill - just the way it is - until it gains some colour.

That should serve four people or if greedy ... less.

However, if you serve some pudding afterwards, you might also manage having a greedy person for the meal.

Oh, how luvly, a curd tart. Had to do that one as well.

Mini Cranberry Curd Tart
250 g of flour
125 g of butter
One egg yolk
Cold water
75 g of brown sugar
Two teaspoons of allspice
One lemon
500 g curd cheese
Three eggs
75 g of dried cranberries

The flour goes to a bowl again and the butter is crumbled in the same way as with the fat rascals. Then comes the egg yolk and as much water as you need to make things hold together. Just make sure you don't work it too much. In fact, it is best not to knead it, but somehow push things together. Wrap it in cling film and chill for 15 minutes.
Then have four small tart tins ready and line each one with an equal part of the dough. Cover with cling film and chill for another 15 minutes.
Whilst that is happening mix the sugar and the allspice in a bowl. Then you add the three beaten eggs, the cranberries, the curd cheese, and the zest and the juice of the lemon.
Whisk it all together.
When the chilling time is over, divide the filling between your four tarts and bake for 45 minutes at 190°C. The short-crust pastry should start to get brown and the filling should set.
Once your ready tarts have cooled down a bit you can serve them - great would be these days with some ice-cream (argh ... why didn't I think about this before).
You could have a cuppa as well ... Yes, I know, it is 35°C, but ... no worries.

So far our excursion into Yorkshire food. I leave you with some impressions of York ...


  1. Oh my goodness, you have created a three course meal with tea for afters too! Great Yorkshire for Best of British

    1. Oh, thank you! I simply was in the mood for it.

  2. Now you've really gone for broke Chris and as I understand it, that is not generally the Yorkshire Way! Curd tart and rascals look great. My plan is for a Curd Tart with a twist - only I'm going to try and make the curd cheese bit too.

    1. Ah, it was only for fun. It was only that the day before on Twitter there was so much Yorkshire tweeting going on. So it just came over me ... couldn't help!
      I can absoluetly recommend doing a curd tart. Just today, when I ate another one, I thought how it might be having chocolate in it ... I could imagine that to be your twist. :-)

  3. OMG! Chris what a GARGANTUAN Yorkshire feast! Fat Rascals, Curd Tart AND Fish Pie - FABULOUS! LOVE all the doggy photos and LOVE all the photos of York too - a FABULOUS Best of British entry! Thanks so much! Karen

    1. Thanks! I could have divided that into three posts and just put the fish pie into Best of British, which actually was the original intention, but then I got into this writing spree.
      Now I think also it was already some practise for putting other menus on my blog (I had a Thai menu in mind).

  4. I just love the pics of your furry friends :-)

    1. YOu are right, those four legged furry friends are really a delight. :-)


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