Stargazey Pie is a Mousehole tradition tied to Tom Bawcocks Eve, a long standing Mousehole celebration. The dish celebrates the infamous catch he landed during a fierce winter storm which provided enough fish for the whole village. The Mousehole Cat is a childrens book that we grew up with here in Cornwall and Toms bravery is respected in Mousehole even to this day, with this annual celebration on the 23rd December. Create your own Stargazey Pie right here.
What you need
200g puff pastry (shop bought is fine, but you can make your own if you’re brave enough)
6 pilchards, herrings or mackerel (filleted, keep the heads)
250ml fish stock
1 onion (finely chopped)
3 rashers of bacon (diced)
3 tablespoons dry white wine
300ml double cream
½ tablespoon flour
2 tablespoons parsley (chopped)
2 hard boiled eggs (chopped)
1 egg (beaten)
How you do it
Preheat the oven to 200°C (gasmark 6). Cook the onion and bacon in a pan with the butter until soft, then add the flour and stir well before slowly adding the fish stock and wine. Stir thoroughly to avoid any lumps forming, then bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.
Next add the cream and bring back up to the boil and simmer until it has reduced down and thickened into a sauce. Remove from the heat and add the parsley and egg, then season to taste and leave to cool.
Place the fish fillets in a shallow pie dish and season, before pouring the sauce over the fish. Lie the puff pastry over the top and trim to size, make a few cuts in the top of the pasty and push the fish heads through so that they are facing upwards. Brush the pastry with the egg until covered, then bake for about 45 minutes, until the pastry is golden in colour.
Serve with seasonal Cornish vegetables.
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