Stargazy pie

This traditional dish comes from Mousehole, Cornwall

Ingredients (Serves 4-6)
  • 150g/5oz fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 50ml/2fl oz milk
  • Juice and grated rind of 1 lemon
  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
  • 3-4 tbsp chopped freshly parsley
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 7-8 fresh herrings or pilchards, cleaned and boned, heads left on
  • Beaten egg for glazing, plus 1 egg white
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
  • 100g/4oz rindless streaky bacon, chopped
  • 150ml/1⁄4pt cider
  • 500g/1lb 2oz Jus-Rol shortcrust pastry, thawed if frozen


Preheat the oven to 200°C, 400°F, Gas 6. Put the breadcrumbs in a bowl, pour over the milk and soak until moist. Mix in the lemon juice and rind, half the onion, most of the parsley and season. Stuff the fish with this mix and arrange in a 23cm/10in pie dish, with heads sticking up and outwards.

Scatter the remaining onions and parsley, and eggs and bacon between the fish, season and pour over the cider. Roll out the pastry and cover the dish. Brush the rim with egg white. Place the lid on top. Make slits for the fish heads to poke through plus a few extra to let steam escape. Press pastry edges together, trim off any excess and brush the top with beaten egg. Bake for 40- 50 minutes. Scatter with parsley to serve.
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