Tarte de Bouillabaisse

January 19, 2022

Bouillabaisse is a classic French stew from the south. All sorts of fish bits and shellfish get thrown in to make the stock.

Us “Brits” who don’t venture past the advice of “Captain Birdseye” and his fingers: or pop into ‘Josephs on the corner’ for a lovely piece of cod and the awesome batter, will have a melt on the continent when ordering fish.

I can recall having a sharer a platter in Tenerife of “barbecued fish”. Between avoiding eye contact and the skeleton, I tried to work out what variety of fish I was gingerly consuming.

Yes us “Brits abroad” should come with a warning fortunately the pleasant waiting staff generally warn you that the fish comes gutted but not filleted or deboned.

My father grew up literally on the beach, whilst my uncle had a share in a fishing boat. Both grew up during the war and knew full well, if you caught it, then it wasn’t rationed.

Dad would ‘chow down’ on any fish and a myriad of shellfish. I had more conservative tastes: fish fingers, salmon paste, cockles, prawns and laverbread.

I was in my 50s before I ate my first mussel, and that was in a paella. Today I will enjoy whitefish, smoked salmon, tuna, etc hence my purchases of “fish pie mix”. A collection of haddock, cod, and salmon pieces, intended to make a ‘Captain’s’, ‘Admiral’s’ or ‘Mariner’s’ pie. Fish, creamy sauce, vegetables with mash on the top – sorted!

Here then is my homage to the fish pie: my tarte de Bouillabaisse 

Serves 4


  • One packet of fish pie mix which includes pieces of cod salmon and haddock
  • One stick of celery thinly chopped
  • One medium white onion chopped
  • Two cloves of garlic minced
  • Half yellow pepper chopped
  • Two small tomatoes chopped
  • 1 teaspoon Thyme
  • 1 teaspoon Cumin
  • 1 tablespoon sweet smoked Paprika
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • 250ml passata
  • 1 tablespoon parsley
  • 1Cal spray oil
  • 500g potatoes approx
  • 60g red Leicester cheese
  • Sprinkle of mixed spice


  1. Pour the passata into a saucepan adding salt, thyme, and paprika and gently bring to the boil
  2. In a deep pan saute the until the fish is flaky and the onion softened
  3. Tossed into the fish mix the parsley and cumin and combine
  4. Start adding the sauce to the fish. Small amounts at a time until the sauce is absorbed
  5. Decant to oven proof pie dishes
  6. Using a mandolin carefully and thinly sliced potatoes and cover the filling
  7. Grate the cheese and sprinkle over the potatoes. Then sprinkle a touch of mixed spice
  8. Allow to rest. You can make this well ahead of time
  9. Bake for 30 minutes at 190°C fan oven

Serve with tender baby broccoli

Syn value

Free food if using cheese component as healthy Extra A.


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