The Damhuis cookbook, Recipes and Memories of a House, is more than just a recipe book – it’s a collector’s item that captures the rich history of the Cape and celebrates delicious South African food, fresh ingredients and memories made around the table with family and friends.
In addition to including beautifully constructed tales from the late acclaimed author Reinet Nagtegaal, the Damhuis cookbook features expertly crafted recipes from Executive Chef Stéfan Meintjes and co-author Dirk Nagtegaal.
Once such recipe is a mouth-watering fish pie that captures Damhuis Restaurant’s mission to serve only the freshest seafood along the West Coast. Here’s how you can bring some of that Damhuis magic into your own home.
Fish Pie Recipe from Damhuis: Recipes and Memories of a House – Serves 6
- 3 cups Milk
- 2 cups Mushrooms
- 1 Onion (quartered)
- 1 Celery Stalk (finely chopped)
- 1 Bay Leaf
- 6 Potatoes (peeled and diced)
- ¾ cup Butter
- 8 tbsp Cake Flour
- 2 Egg Yolks
- 1 clove of Garlic (finely chopped)
- 1 Leek (finely chopped)
- 3 strips of Bacon (diced)
- ¼ cup White Wine
- 500g Hake (deboned and diced)
- 500g Smoked Snoek (deboned and flaked)
- 2 tbsp Parsley (chopped)
- ½ cup Cream
- 1 tsp Nutmeg
- Sea Salt
- Black Pepper
- Preheat the oven to 180 °C.
- Combine the milk, half the mushrooms, the onion, celery and bay leaf in a pot and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from the heat, pour through a sieve and reserve the milk.
- In the meantime, boil the potatoes for 20-25 minutes until tender.
- In a medium pot, melt ½ cup butter and stir in the flour to form a soft paste. Gradually begin to pour in the milk and continuously stir to create a thick white sauce. Simmer for a few minutes and remove from the heat. Season with salt and pepper, and stir in the egg yolks.
- Heat 2 tbsp butter in a pot and fry the garlic, leek and bacon for a few minutes. Add the white wine and the hake. Cover with a lid and simmer for 3-5 minutes. Remove the lid and season with salt and pepper. Let the wine cook away. Add the snoek, parsley and white sauce and stir well.
- Drain the potatoes. Stir the remaining butter through the potatoes and mash them. Stir in the cream.
- Spoon the fish mixture into an oven dish and spread the mash evenly on top. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Bake for 30 minutes or until the mash turns brown.
For another sneak peek of Damhuis: Recipes and Memories of a House, read the excerpt of acclaimed author Reinet Nagtegaal about the first inhabitants of the plot of land that would later become the popular Damhuis Restaurant.