I’m a sucker for fish and cream together, particularly when the fish is smoked and the cream is… well… cream, and not a white sauce. I first made the recipe below using butternut squash, rather than sweet potato, and while that is a lovely flavour combination, the squash tends to be a pricey vegetable and frankly, the sweet potato does the same job for a fraction of the cost.
The other thing I really love about this – compared to a conventional fish pie – is how textured it is, that there’s still a slight bite to the potatoes and onions.
The prices below were taken from MySupermarket.co.uk on 29/03/2015 (this is a really handy price comparison site for grocery shoppers, by the way). I chose Tesco as a price guide, simply because most people have a store near them, but I’m fairly certain that if you’ve got a Lidl/Aldi that you could produce this dish for less.
Anyway, without further ado, you will need:
½ a pack of Tesco Smoked mackerel fillets – £1.61 per pack so 80p for this recipe (tinned is cheaper but slightly more oily so using them would alter the texture of the dish)
1 onion – 16p (for single onion – costs less from a multipack/Lidl/Aldi/market)
1-2 sweet potatoes, 30-60p
½ garlic bulb – 15p… ish
300mls cream – 85p (this can be cheaper by using half the pot and making the volume up with milk)
4 medium baking potatoes (around 700g)– 50p ish, presuming you use the cheapest tatties and not the bag labelled ‘baking potatoes’.
LOADS of salt and pepper
Total cost: £3.06 – 76p per serving, using 300mls cream.
OR £2.70 – 68p per serving, using 150mls cream and 150mls milk (based on milk costing 4p per 100mls)
Adding 100g each of frozen peas and sweetcorn (both Value, of course 😉 ) puts an additional 20p on the price overall, making it 81p per head, or 72p if you’ve just used milk.*
Finely chop garlic and use it to rub the inside of a baking dish – the sort of thing you’d cook lasagne in. Sprinkle very liberally with salt and pepper. Slice the onion, sweet potatoes and regular potatoes. Flake the fish. Build up layers, sprinkling the fish throughout and seasoning every layer. Pour the cream over the top and bake at around 160C until the veg is soft and the top is golden. You can add a little milk if yours starts to dry up/continue baking with tin foil over the top if it colours too quickly.
At 76p a head (81p with veg), this could quickly blow your £1 a day budget. It would leave you with 24p for breakfast and lunch – doable, but difficult. Starting the day with porridge (around 10p per portion if you use Tesco Value oats and 50/50 water and milk to make it) and then having a few slices of the 12p loaf for lunch – both with your choice of budget topping – would bring you in on target but leave little room for snacks or additional fruit/veg.
I tend to save dishes like this – those at the upper end of my budget – for when the veg I need is on sale in Aldi’s ‘Super Six’, when I can get fish reduced, or for the summer time when I’ve got some potatoes in the garden (plant your sprouting eyes for free potatoes!).
How would you cut the cost of this further?
*I had mine with asparagus from last week’s Aldi Super Six – it needed eating up – and cabbage that I got free with a Muscle Foods order. New customers can get £5 off with the code FEEDYOURSELF, by the way 🙂