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Salmon coulibiac

  • Serves 10 (as part of a spread)
  • Prep 1 hr 20 mins
  • Total time 2 hrs 20 mins
2.0/5 rating (1 votes)
Salmon coulibiac
Salmon coulibiac

step by step

  • 1Put the eggs into a saucepan, cover with cold water and bring to the boil. Once boiling, time the eggs for 7 minutes to hard-boil them. Drain them, run under the cold tap to cool, then transfer to a bowl of cold water to cool completely before shelling and roughly chopping. Set aside.
  • 2Melt half the butter in a large saucepan or casserole over a medium-low heat. Add the shallots, herb bundle and a generous pinch of salt and sauté gently until softened, about 15 minutes, stirring from time to time. Tip the mixture into a large bowl. Remove the bundle of herbs and reserve.
  • 3Warm the remaining butter in the same pan over a medium-high heat. Add the mushrooms, coriander seeds and a pinch of salt then sauté, stirring, until the mushrooms have given up a lot of their moisture and taken on some colour. Pour in the wine and simmer until almost completely evaporated. Scoop out the mushrooms with a slotted spoon and add to the bowl with the shallots.
  • 4Tip the rice into the pan in which you fried the mushrooms and stir to coat in the buttery juices. Return the bundle of herbs to the pan and pour in the hot stock. Bring to the boil, stir, cover and simmer gently for 20 minutes. Turn off the heat, leave the lid on, and let the rice sit for 10 minutes until it's tender and the liquid is absorbed. Fork the rice to separate the grains. Discard the herb bundle. Add the rice to the bowl with the shallots and mushrooms. Leave to cool to room temperature, then transfer to the fridge to cool completely. When it's cold, add the dill, parsley and the zest and juice of 1 lemon. Stir to combine, taste and season.
  • 5While the rice is chilling, roll out one pastry block on a lightly floured surface into a rectangle about 18cm x 40cm. Roll out the second block to about 25cm x 40cm. Layer the pastry between sheets of baking paper on a tray and chill for 30 minutes.
  • 6Cut the salmon fillet in half lengthways, along the natural dividing line, and make sure that there aren't any stray bones.
  • 7Preheat the oven to 220°C, fan 200°C, gas 7. To make the coulibiac, line a large baking tray with greased baking paper. Place the smaller pastry sheet in the middle of it. Spoon half of the rice mixture down the centre of the pastry, leaving a 3cm border all around, then gently add half of the salmon trimmings on top. Top with the salmon fillets, turning one piece round so that the two tapered ends meet and slightly overlap in the middle to make a rectangle. Season well and sprinkle over the remaining lemon zest and juice. Top with the other half of the rice mixture, followed by the boiled eggs, and finish with the rest of the salmon trimmings. Pack everything down gently with your hands, so it holds together firmly, shaping it into a high mound. Brush the edges of the pastry with some beaten egg.
  • 8Drape the larger sheet of pastry over the filling and press the edges together. Trim (you can keep the offcuts to decorate the pie, if you like), then crimp together to seal. Brush with the egg wash. Decorate with the offcuts, if you like (we made a few waves and a fish shape) and brush with egg wash.
  • 9Bake the coulibiac for 20 minutes, then reduce the heat to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas 6 and bake for a further 20-25 minutes until golden brown all over.
  • 10Serve warm, but not straight from the oven – leave it to stand for at least 30 minutes to make it easier to slice.
  • 11Serve with a watercress salad, dressed with olive oil, lemon juice and salt.
  • Recipe by Debora Robertson

    Recipe photograph by Toby Scott

Get ahead

Prepare all the fillings the day before; keep chilled to assemble and cook just before your party. Take care to chill the rice quickly once cooked, then seal it and store in the fridge. Or you can fully assemble the coulibiac (up to the end of step 8) a few hours ahead and chill. Bake for an extra 10 minutes from chilled.

You will need

  • 4 large eggs
  • 50g butter, plus extra for greasing
  • 3 shallots, finely chopped
  • 2 bay leaves and 4 thyme sprigs, tied together with kitchen string
  • 200g button mushrooms, halved
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds, lightly crushed
  • 75ml white wine
  • 200g basmati and wild rice, rinsed
  • 400ml fish stock (made from a stock cube is fine)
  • ½ x 25g pack dill, roughly chopped
  • 4 tbsp chopped parsley
  • grated zest and juice of 1½ lemons
  • flour, for dusting
  • 2 x 500g puff pastry blocks
  • 750g side of salmon, skinned
  • 240g pack smoked salmon trimmings
  • 1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp milk

For the salad

  • 1½ x 80g bags watercress, spinach and rocket salad
  • 3 tbsp good-quality extra-virgin olive oil
  • juice of ½ lemon
  • some sea salt flakes

+ Nutritional Information