The first time I had mushy peas was, not surprisingly, in London when I was visiting my daughter. And, not surprisingly, I had them because they came with my fish and chips. I was a little skeptical, not being a huge pea lover, but they were good! Really good!
The peas are often also served along the other quintessential British pub dish meat pie.
The peas traditionally used for mushy peas are called marrowfat peas, and they’re dry peas, cooked from scratch. But I have never seen them, and decided that a bag of frozen peas will have to work.
What gives mushy peas their unique flavor is mint. It turns out it’s really a lovely combination!
I found a recipe on the Jamie Oliver website. Mushy peas are insanely easy to make.
Recipe by Jamie Oliver
1 knob butter
4 handfuls podded peas
1 small handful fresh mint, leaves picked and chopped
1 squeeze lemon juice
freshly ground black pepper
So since I have no podded peas, here’s my version of this recipe.
1 – 1 pound bag frozen peas, thawed
1 ounce unsalted butter
1 tablespoon finely chopped mint leaves
1 squirt lemon juice
Drain the peas in a colander to remove any excess water from the peas.
Place the peas in a food processor and pulse. I made mine a cross between whole peas and completely mushed up peas. I noticed that in my top photo with the fish and chips, the mushy peas look like a mixture of pea purée and whole peas, and the peas with the meat pie look softer, and more mushy. So you can probably make them just about any way.
To quote Jamie Oliver: “You can either mush the peas up in a food processor, or you can mash them by hand until they are stodgy, thick and perfect for dipping your fish into.”
I think mine might not be stodgy enough, but then, I’m not sure what stodgy means.
Place the butter in a medium-sized pot that has a lid, and add the stodgy peas.
Add the mint leaves, cover the pot, and simmer the peas on low for about 10 minutes.
Give the peas a good stir, then add the lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
And that’s it!
Unfortunately, I didn’t have fish and chips, but I did pan-fry a Swai filet and the combination was fabulous!
I’m wondering if children who hate peas might actually enjoy mushy peas!