Roberta's Smoked Fish Pie

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Roberta's Smoked Fish Pie

Postby arpie » Thu Jul 31, 2014 10:58 am

Hi Guys

A few members have salivated over my reference to my World Famous in Forster Smoked Fish Pie .... so here it is! :wink:

When Hot Smoking fish:

Main Rule No 1 - Smoke the fish outside, away from the back door/open windows, or the house will smell of smoked fish for days!

Rule No 2 ..... refer to Rule No 1!! :snic:

For smoking, I use a 2 layered portable one, & use one of those small 'camping' gas stoves (with disposable gas bottles) to cook them. Turn the heat up till the smoke happens, then turn it down to about half, so it doesn't cook it too quickly. Longer slower cooking is better than short sharp cooking. IF you use the old 'metho' cooker that comes with some smokers - just make sure you don't put it on a timber surface!

Enjoy

Roberta

I prefer hickory or mesquite chips ahead of sawdust - much better result. Soak the chips in water for about 3 minutes (about 1/4-1/2 cup of chips depending on how many fillets you are cooking.)

Make sure the fish you are smoking has been 'rested' overnight, or at least for some hours before smoking. The fillets can curl up & not cook evenly if smoked whilst the fillets are 'too fresh'. I usually leave them overnight at least, and smoke them later the next afternoon. You can leave them another day if you want & they definitely won't curl up then! When cooked, it is quite easy to remove any bones from the fillets as they are quite easy to see after the smoking as the flesh shrinks a bit & they poke out a bit.

You can leave the fish whole (less messy - I just cut behind the neck down to the stomach cavity & and then cut along the top of the stomach cavity & take the whole gut section out in one hit, cutting along to the #@! vent) or you can also Butterfly the fish, leaving skin & scales on.

If left whole, just put them on the racks (thick side towards the centre) and fire it up. If filleted or butterflied, I rub brown sugar (be reasonably generous but not too thick) onto the exposed flesh on all fillets then sprinkle a bit of salt all over it (about as much as you'd put on hot chips!) If left a while, you will notice a 'juice' appearing - that is just the salt sucking out some of the moisture. There is no real need to wait tho - just take it outside & turn on the gas!

Any decent sized baking dish or an old 'deep' electric frypan makes a good smoker - no need to buy a 'special' one if you don't have one. Once you've used it tho, keep that one only for smoking! You can even use 2 round stainless steel bowls, as long as one is slightly smaller than the other, to act as a lid. Get a round cake rack to fit the shape of the dish/pan you have selected. Great for camping, as the bowls stack nicely for storage, with the chips inside them, ready to go!

Line the dish with alfoil (put alfoil up the sides a bit to collect the juices and makes it a LOT EASIER to clean up afterwards.) Place the damp wood chips in the centre of the alfoil & spread it out a bit so they are in a single layer in the centre for better contact with the heat source. Put the first cake rack in & place the fish on it, flesh side up. If you have a tall cake rack as well, put it in & another layer of fish. I put the larger fish on the bottom.

Put the lid on & turn on the heat (it doesn't have to be 'full on'!) If smoking 4 - 8 fillets, the fish should take about 20-25 mins to cook Less time for less fillets. Check after 20 mins ... use a skewer to test 'doneness' in the thickest part. It is better not to overcook them, as they go dry & can go a bit tough. When done, remove the fillets & rack, then roll up the alfoil & toss away the 'mess'! Fill the smoker with hot soapy water to clean.

Never use treated timber for smoking - but if you find a favourite 'flavour' of timber (some people swear by apple tree offcuts) & manage to bring some home, put the bits in a vice & set your electric planer to 'fine/med' & take off as many shavings as you need (or do the whole lot!) Spread it out to dry thoroughly in the sun & then keep it in an ice cream container. Some forms of Ti-tree (small branches and/or leaves) are fantastic for smoking fish. Kiwis call it 'Manuka'. If you don't have any to hand, you can also use flavoured tea (eg earl grey etc) and some folk even use wild rice! I have never tried them!

If camping out, you can use small leafed native plants (not eucalytpus, as it is too strongly flavoured.) I did some trout this way in the Snowies & it was great!

5 mins preparation, 20-30 mins cooking (approx) & dinner is ready! Also great cold, spread on crackers! Watch for the bones tho!

Double layered smoked blackfish fillets
Smoked Blackfish Fillets.jpg


The whole fish should be 'turned' after about 20 mins & left for about another 10-20 mins. Always test the thickest part (the shoulder) with a skewer to ensure it is cooked thru. The bigger the fish, the longer it takes to smoke.
Smoked Whole Blackfish.jpg


Allow the whole fish to cool before stripping the flesh from it. The skin (with scales left on) almost becomes a 'leather' - First, I peel off all the spinal bones (on the back & belly) and find that the skin usually comes off quite easily then, as it sort of unzips! Take the flesh from the carcass - carefully removing all the bones. Set aside till after the cheese sauce has been made.

To make the pie, I just make a really thick cheese sauce ( I add a bit of curry paste and/or mustard for extra flavour & colour) & then add 2 chopped, cooked onions (I microwave them first on high for 5 mins) & peas (I use reconstituted dried peas - cover with hot water for 5 mins then microwave for 4-5 mins on med-high - tho frozen peas would be good too) then mix in the shredded fish flesh. Put it in a shallow baking dish that I have sprayed with Canola Oil, cover with mashed potato & pop in the oven with a bit of grated cheese on top, to melt & brown for about 1hr depending on how cold it got before putting it into a moderate oven. (about 150 degrees celsius.)

Boil up a few kg of potatoes - it is amazing how much you use on top of the pie, so you have a decent layer!

It also freezes really well in Alfoil containers with a cardboard lid - and altho it is a bit labour intensive to make - I tend to make a big serve (5 or 6 fish) so that I can freeze 2 or 3 pies & eat the fresh one that night as well!

Let me know how you go with it!! It is really yummy served with a big green salad and lots of garlic bread! :wink:

cheerio

Roberta

Check out this 'cold smoking' method as well - this is a favourite in NZ as well. It takes a lot longer (depending on the size of the 'cuts' but imparts a really special flavour to the food.)

You can smoke whole chickens & different meat cuts as well ..... YUM!
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Re: Roberta's Smoked Fish Pie

Postby Troopy67 » Thu Jul 31, 2014 11:57 am

Sounds sensational, thanks for posting the recipe. Hope to give it a try sometime.
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Re: Roberta's Smoked Fish Pie

Postby arpie » Fri Aug 01, 2014 11:30 am

Thanks Troops! The thing I like most is that you end up with 3-6 meals (for 2) from one lot of smoking! :wink:

I forgot to mention which fish to use for smoking!! Any of the 'oily' fish are best - so fresh Mullet, Tailor and Blackfish are excellent for this recipe tho in times of need, I have also used flattie and on occasion, bream!

cheers

Roberta
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Re: Roberta's Smoked Fish Pie

Postby YakTTMax » Fri Aug 01, 2014 2:25 pm

Roberta thanks for taking the time to post that, very thorough.
I'm a fan of CPR, but I also take fish home for a feed whenever I can and am always lookng for new ways to prepare them.
I really like smoked fish and who doesn't like a good pie, so I think you're onto something with that recipe for sure.
Thanks again, all the best, Rob..:bye:
PB.. Flathead 50cm, Bream 37cm FL, Snapper 64cm, Bonito 43cm, Trevally 44cm, Australian Salmon 55cm, Tailor 38cm, Barracuda 100cm, Rainbow Trout 55cm, Bass 42cm FL..
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Re: Roberta's Smoked Fish Pie

Postby Occy » Sat Aug 02, 2014 8:14 am

Thanks for sharing Roberta, I'm dribbling now. :grr: I absolutely love smoked fish especially trout? I do a side of Atlantic Salmon or Ocean Trout for Christmas lunch every year and it's a real success let me tell you. The missus also does a sensational fish pie using bought cape cod. I'de love to give the smoked blackfish a go.
Cheers Paul
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Re: Roberta's Smoked Fish Pie

Postby Freewily » Sat Oct 11, 2014 10:49 pm

Thanks Roberta! :grin: I nearly gave you a PM for the recipe as I have got a few mullet to smoke.
I don't go to this section often, but when I did today, Bingo! here it is! :lol:
Don't forget the smelly Pike for smoking too. :lek: Just discovered not along ago that they are a great fish for the smoker. :grin:
YAK P.B. Salmon 60cm, Flathead 60cm, Trevally 42cm, Carp 38cm, Bream 40cm, Luderick 42cm, Tarwhine 30cm,
Blue Morwong 48cm, Mullet 38cm, Bass 39cm, Garfish 34cm, Leatherjacket 27cm, Flounder 28cm, Snapper 50cm, Bonito 60cm, Whiting 38cm, Tailor 52cm, LongTom 66cm.


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