Fish pie like your mother never made it

Cormac Mac Gabhann's signature dish from Heat 2 of MasterChef 2014


  • tapenade:
  • 8 medium sized olives
  • 1 clove of garlic
  • 5 capers
  • 3 anchovies
  • 4 table spoons of extra virgin olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper
  • salmon:
  • 2 salmon fillets
  • potato rosti:
  • 2 large potatoes
  • salt
  • pepper
  • sunflower oil
  • duck fat
  • pea and mint puree:
  • 200 gms of frozen peas
  • dried mint
  • 100 ml double cream
  • salt
  • spinach:
  • 200 g fresh baby leaf spinach
  • butter
  • salt
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • pepper
  • beurre blanc sauce:
  • 1 shallot
  • 100 ml white wine
  • 50 g butter
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • handful of samphire


  1. Finely chop all the ingredients and mix.
  2. Mix in the olive oil and mash together using a spoon.
  3. Once the tapenade is ready, cut the salmon through the middle without cutting through entirely. Flatten out the salmon and spread the tapenade. Once this is done, roll the salmon fillet tightly.
  4. Cut a large square of cling film and lay flat. Place the rolled salmon fillet at one end of the cling film and roll tightly, squeezing the air out as you go.
  5. Twist each end in opposite directions and refrigerate.
  6. Once the salmon is in the fridge, peel the potatoes and grate them into dry kitchen towel and remove as much moisture as possible. Place two tablespoons of duck fat as well as some sunflower oil in a pan over a medium heat. Place the chef’s ring in the pan and spoon in the grated potato. Compress down to have a compact rosti. Fry for 4 minutes on either side to have a crispy exterior and a soft centre. Place on a baking try.
  7. Once done, prepare the beurre blanc sauce. Finely chop the shallot. Add to a pan over medium heat and gently brown. Add the white wine and allow to reduce to about one quarter.
  8. Pass the mixture through a sieve into a bowl to remove shallot. Use bain-marie to heat the bowl and gradually add the butter until you reach sauce consistency. Pour into the thermos to keep warm until serving.
  9. Boil the peas in salted water. Drain the water and pass peas into the blender. Blend for 5 minutes while adding the cream and mint.
  10. Pour the puree into a saucepan and reheat prior to serving.
  11. When this is ready, remove the salmon from the fridge. Boil water and remove from heat. Place salmon in the water and leave off the heat for 10-12 minutes.
  12. While the salmon is cooking, finely chop the garlic and add to butter over medium heat. Once butter is melted, add spinach to the pan and gently fry until the spinach has wilted (2-3 minutes).
  13. Place the rostis into an oven preheated to 180 to warm them up and turn heat on gently under the pea puree.
  14. Finish:
  15. Place two potato rosti at the centre of the plate.
  16. Add pea puree to one mound and spinach to the other.
  17. Cut the salmon in half and balance one half on each.
  18. Drizzle the salmon and the outer edge of the plate with the beurre blanc sauce.
  19. Decorate with samphire.

More from Life & Style

  • Like Gardens? You'll love this wee gem

    IN Homes

    Like Gardens? You'll love this wee gem

  • Toulouse and the Tarn region of France

    IN Travel

    Toulouse and the Tarn region of France

  • Three ways to update your hair for Autumn/Winter

    IN Fashion

    Three ways to update your hair for Autumn/Winter

  • Mazda CX-3

    IN Motors

    Mazda CX-3

  • X

    Use your RTE ID to Join

    • Upload your style photos
    • Create and save recipes
    • Review and Comment
    • Have your say
    help Whats this?
    Don't have an RTE ID? register