Rick Stein’s Cornwall episode 20

Rick Stein's Cornwall episode 20

Rick Stein’s Cornwall episode 20: Following in the footsteps of one of his literary heroes, Rick roams the dramatic north Cornish coast to tell the story of one of Britain’s best-loved writers, Thomas Hardy, and his little-known love affair with a Cornishwoman.



Another famous writer, Dylan Thomas, dubbed Rick’s next stop, Mousehole, as ‘the loveliest village in Britain’. It’s here that Rick discovers the origins of the iconic Cornish dish stargazy pie.

A short distance away, Rick joins a small army of seaweed harvesters who are feeding an increasing appetite for a natural food more common in Japan. Further inland is a racetrack that is home to some of the best Cornish banger-and-stock car racing drivers. And high up on bleak Bodmin Moor, Rick meets a man who makes extraordinary knives from old vehicles.

In this new series Rick Stein reveals the Cornwall that he knows and loves: a unique part of the British isles with a strong sense of identity and a history rooted in its Celtic past. With his famous natural inquisitiveness, Rick shares the road less travelled – championing the food, history, music, art and culture of the county many locals argue should be a country in its own right.


Rick Stein’s Cornwall episode 20


Rick Stein’s stargazey pie


This traditional Cornish dish is so named because the fish heads poke through the pastry crust and appear to be gazing at the stars. But don’t worry, you don’t eat the heads, and the fish are boned to make them easy to eat.


  • Preheat the oven to 200C/180C Fan/Gas 6.
  • Melt the butter in a pan over a low heat, add the onion, leek and bacon and cook over a low heat until very soft but not browned.
  • Stir in the flour to make a roux and cook for a minute. Put the white wine and fish stock, stir well to remove any lumps, bring to the boil, then turn down to a simmer and cook for 5–10 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Add the cream and bring to the boil, stirring until you have a thick sauce. Add the saffron, salt andsome pepper, stir in the parsley and fold in the chopped hard-boiled eggs.
  • Roll out the pastry to about 3mm/⅛in thick. Cut out a long, 2cm/¾in wide strip of pastry. Dampen the rim of a deep pie dish with water and press the pastry strip onto the rim. Pour a little of the sauce into the dish and arrange the mackerel on top, with their heads on the edges of the dish. Pour over the remaining sauce.
  • Cut out a piece of pastry a little bigger than the size of the dish, then cut slits in the pastry large enough to poke the mackerel heads through. Carefully lower onto the pie dish, then, working around the dish one fish at a time, poke the fish heads through the pastry. Brush the pastry with beaten egg and bake for 40–45 minutes until the pastry is golden and crisp. Serve with new potatoes and green vegetables.
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