Crumpets with Fish Pie

The Captain's choice – comfort overload!


We are indebted to Mark Hix, from whom this recipe is inspired. We think he is an ace chef, with genuinely excellent recipe books, and hope he’ll forgive our looseness with copyright laws. There’s a quite a lot of leaving things to stand, but it is worth being patient – the results will be scrumptious.

Preparation: 15 minutes Serves: 12 crumpets
Cooking: 2 hours Cold-buttered crumpets
Ingredients Quantity (metric) Quantity (imperial)
Cod fillet (skinned and boned) 250 g 9 oz
Salmon fillet (skinned and boned) 250 g 9 oz
Smoked haddock fillet (skinned and boned) 250 g 9 oz
Fish stock 500 ml 18 floz
Dry white wine 100 ml 3.5 floz
Parsley (finely chopped) 2 tbsp 2 tbsp
Butter 50 g 1.75 oz
Plain flour 50 g 1.75 oz
Double cream 175 ml 6 floz
English mustard 2 tsp 2 tsp
Worcestershire sauce 1 tsp 1 tsp
Anchovy essence 1 tsp 1 tsp
Salt and pepper Not too little Not too much
White breadcrumbs 25 g 1 oz
Lancashire cheese (grated) 25 g 1 oz


      The fish pie

      1. Cut the fish into bite-sized chunks.
      2. Pour the fish stock and white wine into a large pan and bring to a simmer. Add the fish and poach for 2 minutes. Drain over a bowl, saving the liquid, and leave the fish to cool.
      3. Melt the butter over a low heat in a large non-stick pan, then stir in the flour. Cook gently for 5 minutes, then slowly stir in the reserved liquid. Bring to the boil then gently simmer for 15 minutes.
      4. Add the cream and continue to simmer for 10 more minutes, until the sauce starts to thicken. Then add the mustard, Worcestershire sauce, anchovy essence and salt and pepper. Keep tasting before adding too much salt, as the smoked haddock will be salty and you don't want to overdo it.
      5. Leave to cool for 15 minutes, then gently fold in the fish and parsley.
      6. Put the mixture in an oven-proof dish, coated with butter to avoid sticking issues, cover with foil and put into a pre-heated oven at 180 ˚F (Gas mark 4) for 15 minutes.
      7. Remove from the oven and remove the foil.
      8. Mix together the breadcrumbs and cheese and scatter over the fish. Return to the oven for 15 minutes, until the crust is golden.

      The crumpets

      1. Spoon on, counsel your taste-buds about the dangers of over-excitement, and dig in.