Wise Guy Fish Pie – By @Joebee731
By Joe Colquhoun
Wise Guy Fish Pie
“As far back as I can remember I always wanted to be a Gangster”
Go on, you’ve heard this before… you know where it’s from right? Of course you do. How could anyone not know that this is the opening line to Martin Scorsese’s academy award winning ‘Goodfellas’?
When Henry Hill finally gets pinched by the feds, we’re given our first glimpse of a ‘wise guy’ prison. Cigars, women and delicious ingredients are only a crooked cop away, and goddamn can you the viewer almost taste the luxury that they experienced. This wasn’t prison, it was the Ritz.
Scorsese thought that incase the film was a massive flop, he should throw in his mother Catherine’s famous pasta sauce recipe. At least the audience wouldn’t leave empty handed, and really, what could be more valuable than a true Sicilian tomato sauce?
Nothing, that’s what. Now stop asking questions.
Following in Coppola’s footsteps, I aim to give you my equally delicious fish pie recipe. If at some stage I hand in a brief that turns out to be a big pile of steaming crap, at least deep down I’ll know that one day I taught you something useful.
1kg medium potatoes
400ml milk, plus a splash
25g of butter, plus a knob
500g of fish (Haddock, Cod and Salmon)
Handful (and a half) of fresh parsley
3 medium onions
1 clove of garlic
25g of plain flour
Wise Guy Method
At home, dinner was always a big thing, we took our food seriously. Having four brothers meant if you snooze, you lose. No dinner for you. None of this sit in front of the TV shit either, we sat at the table, on time, we said grace.
My mother did the prep work. She’d get the potatoes, peel and chop them up in this way that wasn’t precise but she cared ya’know, putting them on the boil for 20 minutes or so. Same goes for the onions and garlic, she’d use a special knife no one else used and slice the garlic so thin that with a little oil, it’d liquify instantly in the pan.
My Dad (Don), he was in charge of the sauce. First thing he’d do is get a knob of butter and throw it in the pan. Next he’d mix in plain flour and let the roux stir for a couple minutes making sure to keep it moving. A minute or so later, he’d add the full fat milk, stirring continually until the sauce thickened. Now comes the parsley. I always thought he added too much parsley; one bunch should be enough, but to this day he’ll still add an extra half when backs are turned. But what do I know?
My Brothers and I, we did the simple stuff. We mashed potatoes with butter, sliced the fish (Haddock, Salmon and Cod) into cubes, and generally just helped out where we could. This ain’t a masterpiece, this is soul food, it doesn’t have to look pretty, it just has to taste good.
Once everything was chopped and the potato mashed, you’d fill a dish in this order: fish, parsley sauce, salt & pepper, mashed potato and then a handful of parmesan. Chuck this in the oven for 40 minutes at 200°c and you’re ready. Thank me later.