Just in time for Saint Patrick's Day, an Irish recipe. Chef Ryan O'Malley with NECI made Grace O'Malley Salmon pie. Watch the video for more.
If you have had one too many St. Patrick's Day with corned beef and cabbage or bangers and mash why not give this one a try. Grace O'Malley was a 16th century Irish pirate who has been immortalized on the Emerald Isle. She was a chieftain of the O'Malley clan and had a lived on Clare Island at the mouth of Clew bay. From this vantage point she would keep a watchful eye, taxing all those who profited from the local waters. She was a bold leader who would not back down, even when faced with the brunt of the English empire. It is reported that Salmon Pie was one of her favorite meals, when on land in the comfort of the castle she called home. Below is my interpretation of this classic dish. I hope you like it.
Grace O'Malley's Salmon Pie:
24 oz Milk
1.5 oz butter
1.5 oz flour
1# Clare Island Salmon (or any available salmon)
¼ tsp Celery Seed
3 TBL chopped watercress
1 TBL Chives
Salt to taste
1.5 pound of puff pastry or pie dough recipe of choice (unsweetened)
2 egg yolks and 2 TBL of half and half (heavy cream and milk would also be acceptable). Mix until combined.
To make the sauce, the milk must be thickened. To do this we will use a roux. First melt the butter in a pan. When melted add flour. Stir and cook for about 4 minutes. Do not burn, however you do want a blonde color. Stir in milk. Keep stirring the sauce until it comes to a slow boil. Make sure the bottom does not burn, it will want to. The roux will not fully thicken until it comes to a boil. When the sauce is thickened set aside and chill.
Cut the carrots, parsnips, and potatoes into ½ inch squares (medium dice). Cut leeks in half length wise and wash well. Cut into half moons to a thickness of ¼" do not use the dark green leaves. With a small amount of cooking oil, sweat all vegetables until tender.
Slowly cook your 1# of salmon. You can do this by sautéing in pan or broiling in the oven. Which ever you are most comfortable with.
Chop chives and watercress.
When all ingredients are chilled (cold is important so that you do not melt the butter in the dough and make it greasy) mix all ingredients in a large mixing bowl.
Now you have to decide how you would like to serve it. It may be made up individual or family style. For individual use a 10 fluid ounce capacity oven proof ramekin. This will make six if each ramekin gets 9 oz of filling. For family style use a small casserole dish.
Fill desired dishes with the pie filling.
Roll out pastry dough to the correct size and place on top. Brush with an egg wash.
Bake at 325 degrees until crust is brown. Depending on the size vessel you use it should take about 20 minutes.
If you are a having a dinner party you can make the filling a day in advance. Just don't put the pastry on until the day of. This can be an easy thing to do for company to enjoy friendship rather than slave in the kitchen.
Unless you travel to Ireland, Clare Island salmon might be hard to come by. Instead any salmon will do. In fact if you would rather use cod or any other cold water Atlantic fish that will be just fine.
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