Tuna Pie
Easy and Ecomical, Nostalgic and Delicious!

We all seem to be tightening our belts at the moment, or as my mum used to say: “We’re going on an economy drive!”

Here’s a recipe that could come in handy for many of us in reduced circumstances during these difficult times. I learnt to make it as a poor student and have fallen back on it many times since. My mum, incidentally, didn’t rate tuna at all but enjoyed the pie made with tinned pink salmon, so substitute that if you prefer.

Any kind of tinned tuna is suitable: in oil, brine or spring water, but ideally use tuna steak or chunks rather than flakes.

Serves 2 but easy to double quantities

  • 200ml (up to ½ pint milk)
  • 20g (1gently rounded tablespoon) cornflour
  • Ground white and freshly ground black pepper
  • Small handful of fresh parsley, chopped (or a good pinch or two of dried parsley)
  • Generous pinch of ground mace or freshly ground nutmeg to taste
  • Approximately 450-700g (1-1½ lbs) potatoes, mashed with a little butter, milk and pepper
  • 2 medium-large eggs
  • 1 x 145g tin of tuna, drained (or 2 tins if you are ravenous)
  • Handful of grated cheese
  • Few slices of tomato plus chopped fresh parsley to garnish, optional

Preheat oven to 180C (fan oven) gas mark 6 or equivalent

You will need a suitable oven dish, lightly buttered

Mix the cornflour and seasoning to a smooth paste in a heavy-bottomed pan with 2-3 tablespoons milk. Gradually add the remaining milk, stirring constantly. Change to a whisk as the mixture thickens.

Bring to the boil, still whisking. Lower the heat, add the parsley and mace to taste, and whisk until smooth.

Meanwhile, hard-boil the eggs for 8 minutes from boiling, plunge into cold water, shell and quarter.

Spread the tuna in the dish and tuck in the eggs. Pour over the parsley sauce (you may not need it all). Arrange the mashed potato on top and scatter with cheese.

Top with tomato slices, if using, (brush the slices with a little melted butter to stop them drying out).

Bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Scatter with chopped fresh parsley and eat immediately with any spare sauce: reheat it gently and check for seasoning, you may need a little salt.

A few peas on the side are nice and maybe a shake of tomato ketchup.