Mothering Sunday squidgy fish pie.
What comes to mind for Mother’s Day Sunday lunch, yup the ubiquitous roast lamb as in spring time, Lamb of God, the coming of Easter and all that? Goodness only knows what the weather is going to be like on 26th March, by the way those at the Met Office suggest ‘mainly cloudy’, which could mean sub arctic to Mediterranean temperatures. So I am up for a warming light homemade freshly cooked fish pie, steaming in a great big brightly coloured ovenware dish. What a picture, what a photograph as the song goes, crash bang wallop.
This recipe is for quite a large family, one husband, and three kids all of mixed ages and sexes. Alternatively double up on the tasks, where there are fewer children, as it gives everyone a chance to chat more and catch up on life. So here is the opportunity for Dad to gently poach the fish including salmon, cod or haddock and some smoked haddock adds a bit of depth. Add the strained cooking juices to the sauce. One ‘off spring’ to cook and shell the hard boiled ages, another to make the white sauce and finally child three to do the mashed potato topping. Here cheese is a must for me and I even like a tad of salad cream to the sauce as it goes really well with the quartered hard boiled eggs. I can hear the howls of sacrilege already wafting their way down the English Wine Tasting Tours internet. Bring it on!
Serve with any of the following: steamed broccoli, grilled asparagus and braised peas with baby onions and Chantenay carrots, grab them while you can before ‘funny foreign foods’ are banned, let alone wine.
Two English wines bounce to mind with a rich creamy fish pie, they are Camel Valley and Chapel Down Bacchus, in the case of the latter not the Reserve. The German Bacchus grape is named after the Roman God of wine, dance and music, linked to enthusiastic living and partying, so appropriate for Mother’s Day I hear you ask, tongue in cheek? English Bacchus is light and its refreshing acidity washes over the crunchy mashed potato cheesy topping, the sauce and the richer salmon pieces. The Chapel Down Bacchus has hints of gooseberries with nettle and some grassiness and at a recent tasting in London guests said that it reminded them of a Sauvignon Blanc from cooler central France.
The Camel Valley is a bit fatter and has tastes of greengage, some citreous lime and tropical fruit flavours, while there is an elderflower blossom perfumed nose. Both can be bought from Waitrose and independent wine shops. The Chapel Down was awarded a bronze medal at the 2015 International Wine Challenge, while the Camel Valley has recently been given a silver medal.
So here you have crisp delicious thirst quenching Bacchus English white wine with locally UK sourced ingredients, caught fresh from our coastline for a fish pie treat made with love for your Mum. We can all raise a glass to that and she isn’t doing the dishes afterwards!