Saturday, June 16, 2012

Fisherman's Pie (A Seafood-Based Version of Shepherd's Pie)

To download a copy of this recipe for Fisherman’s Pie, click HERE!

Several months ago, I posted a recipe for Shrimp Stuffing that was intended for use as a side dish in seafood entrees. Why, I thought at the time, should enjoying stuffing be limited to turkey, chicken and pork?

Sometime later, I was enjoying a Shepherd’s Pie (which some authoritative sources spell “Shepard’s Pie" for reasons I have been unable to determine), and a similar thought came to mind: why should shepherds have all the fun? Why can’t something similar to Shepherd’s Pie, but based in seafood instead of lamb, be made?

The answer was simple: it could be made. By using fish instead of lamb, fish spices instead of lamb spices, fish stock instead of beef stock, and the aforementioned shrimp stuffing for the topping instead of mashed potatoes, classic Shepherd’s Pie can be transformed into a delicious seafood dinner we’ll call Fisherman’s Pie.

Some Cook’s Notes before we begin:
  • Regarding the issue that always seems to come up when people and stuffing get together, this recipe makes a “medium-moist” stuffing. Vary the fish stock to increase or decrease the moisture accordingly.
  • If you ever want to use the stuffing on its own as a side dish instead of making it part of the Fisherman’s Pie, after uncovering the baking dish in the recipe let the stuffing bake further until browned, about 30 minutes more.
  • Instead of baking the entire Fisherman’s Pie in a baking dish as in the recipe, it can also be put into ramekins and baked as individual servings.

This recipe makes 4 servings.

First, let’s make the stuffing for the topping:

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine the following to make the spice mix: 1 tsp dried oregano; 1 tsp celery seed; 1 tsp dried thyme; ¼ tsp dried sage; 1 tsp dried marjoram; and 1 tsp fresh lemon zest. Divide the mixture into halves and set each aside.

Melt a little butter substitute in a skillet over medium heat. Add ½ cup diced onions, ½ diced celery, and half of the spice mix. Add salt and pepper to taste, and cook for 5 minutes.

Add ¾ cup fish stock; 2 Tbsp dry white wine (chardonnay or similar) and the juice of ½ a freshly-squeezed lemon. Stir to combine and bring to a simmer.

In a large bowl, combine 1 egg-substitute egg and ½ Tbsp dried parsley. Add the 4 cups of stale (or lightly toasted) potato bread cubes; and 8 ounces of thawed, cooked salad shrimp that has been diced. Toss to combine.

Transfer the mixture to a buttered 11”x 7” baking dish and dot with butter substitute. Cover with foil and bake for 30 minutes. Uncover and set aside. When finished, transfer the stuffing to a separate bowl and set aside. Rinse the baking pan for use later.

While the stuffing is baking, make the filling as follows:

Pat one pound of white fish fillets dry with a paper towel, drizzle with a little olive oil, and season with salt and pepper.

Dredge the fillets in corn flour (not corn meal) and cook on a hot grille pan till done.

When the fillets are cooked, about 4 – 5 minutes per side, cut into bit size pieces and set aside.

Heat some olive oil in a skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 diced medium onion and 2 peeled, diced carrots and cook until they just start to get some color. Add 2 minced garlic cloves and cook for another minute or two.

Add 2 Tbsp of tomato paste, 1 cup of fish stock, ½ cup of dry wine (chardonnay or similar), a bay leaf, and the other half of the spice mix to the skillet, and mix till combined.

Bring the liquid in the skillet to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Simmer till the liquid is reduced by half, about 15 minutes.Remove the skillet from the heat, and remove the bay leaf. Add the corn, peas and fish. Stir gently to combine.

To put the Fisherman’s Pie together:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Transfer the filling mixture to the 11” x 7” baking dish and spread until level.

Top the filling with the stuffing, being sure to get a good seal around the edges.Bake until the top of the stuffing is browned, about 25 minutes.When done, let the baking dish cool on a rack for five minutes before serving.

To download a copy of this recipe for Fisherman’s Pie, click HERE!

Serve with the rest of that white wine we used in the cooking, and you’re all set for a great dinner! (You didn’t think we were going to let the remaining wine go to waste did you?)

Please visit again next week for another tasty, kitchen-tested recipe. Till then, stay well, keep it about the food, and always remember to kiss the cook. ;-)


  1. I was interested to see that you used corn flour to coat the fish before cooking. That sounds interesting.

  2. Thanks, Sandy. Regular AP flour should work too, but I just like the way things corn go with things fish.