6 whole large sardines or pilchards, scaled and gutted but heads and tails still attached (you can get your fishmonger to do this)
1 tbsp wholegrain mustard
Stargazy pies and pasties
Stargazy pies are a traditional Cornish dish, with pilchard heads poking through the pastry, gazing up at the stars. As well as adding drama, the theory is that as the pies bake, the oil from the head and gills helps to baste the pastry. This easier version is a nod to the Cornish pasty. If the idea of heads and tails is a bit too much, they work just as well with filleted sardines completely encased in pastry.
Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.
Cook 2 of the eggs in boiling water for
8 mins. Drain and cool under cold water,
then peel and roughly chop. Heat a frying
pan until hot and sizzle the bacon until
crisp. Mix the eggs and bacon together in
a bowl with the parsley and seasoning.
Dust your work surface with a little
flour, divide the pastry into 6 and roll out
circles just a little shorter than each
sardine fillet. Brush the sardines with a
little mustard and stuff with some of the
egg-and-bacon mix. Lay each fillet on a
circle of pastry. Beat the remaining egg
and brush a little over the edges of the
pastry. Bring the 2 sides together firmly
to encase the sardines, leaving the heads
and tails poking out – tilt the head a little
so that’s it’s pointing upwards. Pinch the
edges to look like a Cornish pasty and
place on a baking tray. Brush all over with
beaten egg and bake for 25-30 mins until
golden. Cool slightly before serving.