St. Peter’s Pie

1 3/4 cup milk
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp salt
1/8 tsp mace
1 bay leaf
1/2 lb. cod fillet
1/2 lb. smoked haddock
2 tbsp melted butter
2 tbsp whipping cream
1 tsp minced garlic
2 hard-boiled eggs

CHEESE SAUCE
2 tbsp butter
1 tbsp flour
1/4 tsp nutmeg
2 tbsp grated Parmesan cheese
2 tbsp grated Swiss cheese

Heat the milk, pepper, salt, mace, and bay leaf in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, add the fish, then simmer, covered, for about 20 minutes, or until the fish is cooked.

Strain off the cooking liquid, setting aside 1 cup for the cheese sauce, and keeping the rest for the next step.

Remove any skin and bones from the fish, and turn out onto a cutting board. Chop up the fish up into little pieces, not quite mincing them, but very nearly. (They ought to have the appearance of… well, sort of mashed, but chopping them up is a lot easier than actually trying to mash them with a fork and expecting to get the same results in terms of consistency when it comes to size-of-fish-pieces, so on… And it turns out perfect in the end, anyway.)

In a bowl, whisk together melted butter, olive oil, cream, garlic, and 4 tbsp of the cooking liquid. Add the fish, and work in well. Transfer the mixture to a pie dish and arrange slices of hard-boiled egg on top.

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

For the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan. When the butter starts to froth, remove from heat and whisk in the flour. Add enough of the milk mixture which you set aside earlier to make a thick paste. Return to heat and slowly add the rest of the measured milk. Taste and adjust as needed with salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Simmer for 5 minutes. Whisk in the grated cheese, and stir until thickened considerably. Pour the cheese sauce over the fish and eggs, covering them completely, and bake until the top starts to brown, about 45 minutes, but watch it carefully.

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The saltiness of smoked fish differs, and the recipe calls for smoked haddock, which is what I’ve put here, but I used something else… I can’t remember what it was. Started with an R and there was a dash in there, or something. :D Something about not being able to find smoked haddock.

Obviously, as I’d never made it before, I had no idea what to expect. You see, there was going to be a meeting for my Youth Group at my house, and this is what I meant to serve. When I tasted the sauce as I was making it, I started to panic! It was salty! And I knew that the fish was salty enough as it was… Altogether, it would be too salty for anyone to consume by itself.

THEN Mum has the WONDERFUL idea of making mashed potatoes. Plain. And then serving them with the pie and mixing it all together and GLORY!!!!!! it’s all gone, now. :D I guess everyone found it alright. Bwahaha. At any rate, if yours turns out salty, there’s a suggestion for you. Just plain mashed potatoes. Don’t bother with milk and salt and pepper and whatnot, because all that’s in the pie.

Oh, also, we were in a hurry, so we didn’t make the cheese sauce exactly as directed, and mum knew a few tricks, so, ours turned out as it should have, in the end… but I’ve put down what the book said, and not what we did, because I do hope you won’t be in the hurry I was in. If you are, however… Oh, then I just hope you’ve made bechamel sauce before. With cheese.

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