Stargazy Pie

Mark Hix's tasty fish pie topped with crisp puff pastry is based on a traditional recipe in which the fish heads are left outside the pastry 'to gaze up to the sky'
Stargazy Pie
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 25 g butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 3 rashers rindless streaky bacon, chopped into rough 5mm dice
  • 1/2 tbsp flour, plus more for dusting
  • 3 tbsp dry white wine
  • 250 ml fish stock, (or a corner of a good-quality fish stock cube dissolved in 250ml hot water)
  • 300 ml double cream
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs, shelled and chopped
  • 6 pilchards, herrings, or small mackerel, filleted, any residual bones removed and heads reserved
  • 200 g puff pastry, rolled out to a thickness of about 3mm
  • 1 egg, beaten


1. Heat the butter in a medium pan and gently cook the onion and bacon until soft. Add the flour and stir well, then slowly add the wine and fish stock, stirring well to prevent lumps forming. Bring to the boil and simmer for 10 minutes.

2. Add the cream, bring back to the boil and simmer until reduced by half and thickened. Remove from the heat; add the parsley and chopped egg, season with salt and pepper and leave to cool.

3. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6.

4. Cut the fillets of fish in half and lay them in a shallow pie or flan dish, then lightly season with salt and pepper.

5. Pour the sauce over the fish. Lay the pastry over the dish and trim it to size. Make 6 small slits in the pastry and push the reserved fish heads through them. Brush the top with the beaten egg. Bake for 40-45 minutes until the pastry is golden and risen.

6. Serve with greens in autumn and winter, or with a selection of spring vegetables.

Rate This Recipe