Frugal Fish pie

It’s the beginning of the month and I’m feeling flush. A new budget means new possibilities. Although I must remember not to over spend at the beginning so we don’t exceed the budget at the end. Fortunately, February is a short month! 4 exact weeks – no extra days!

Oxford fish marketI really missed Salmon last month so I thought I’d kick start with a frugal fish recipe. The Fish Market Oxford on Botley Road do a frozen fish pie mix that I keep in the freezer. It cost £6.95 / kg but contains a mixture of salmon and white fish. That might feel steep but it’s a lot cheaper than buying salmon fillets. Plus I like the fact that it’s all the left over tit bits that would usually go to waste – somehow it feels good not to use every bit of the fish. After all, Salmon is a very healthy omega rich fish that should be celebrated. This recipe is super simple as well as hearty and healthy.

Frugal Fish & Leek pie with mustard mash

frugal fish pie and peasDefrost the fish thoroughly. Infuse a pint of milk with nutmeg and a couple of peppercorns by warming them gently together in a saucepan. Place the defrosted fish and 1 or 2 sliced boiled eggs in the bottom of a deep casserole pan (you may need 2 pans – this is a lot of fish) and squeeze over the juice of 1 lemon. In the meantime, boil about 1 kg of potatoes until cooked through and set aside.

In a saucepan melt 30g of butter and gently fry leeks until very soft (about 10 minutes), add 2 tbsp of plain flour and mix to form a roux. Gently fry the leek roux for 30 seconds before whisking in the milk, leave over a gentle heat to thicken. Mash the potatoes with a little milk and some butter and 2-3 tsp of English mustard, season with salt and pepper.

Scatter some parsley over the fish and pour over the thickened white leek sauce. Top with the mash. Place in the oven for 40 minutes at gas mark 5 / 180C, until golden brown. Serve with peas.

This is enough for 2 family meals. So unless you want to eat it 2 days in a row, divide in half and freeze.

Budget?

1 kg fish pie mix = £6.95 (Fish Market Oxford)
1 kg potatoes = 28p (Rectory Farm)
3 leeks = £1
Organic Milk = 60p
Butter = 20p
Lemon = 25p
Herbs, salt, pepper, mustard = 10p

Total = £9.38 for 8-10 portions (93p a portion)

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