Fabulous Fish Pie

It should go without saying that a fish pie needs to have lots of big chunks of fish in it, so don’t skimp on that.

If you prefer, make your favourite mash recipe using 750g of potatoes. I like to get a creamy mash finish by pushing the potatoes through a sieve with a spatula.

Time: 1 hour

Serves: 4-6

Ingredients

    • 1 litre water
    • 1kg firm white fish fillets (e.g. rockling), cut into 3-4cm chunks
    • 3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
    • 1 celery stalk, diced
    • 1 carrot, diced
    • 1 white onion, diced
    • 1 small fennel bulb, sliced
    • 90g salted butter
    • 90g plain (all-purpose) flour
    • 250ml milk
    • zest and juice of 1 lemon
    • salt flakes and cracked black pepper
    • 1 tablespoon each chopped dill and parsley

Mash Topping

    • 750g all-purpose potatoes, cut into rough chunks
    • 50g salted butter
    • 3 tablespoons milk
    • 1 free-range egg

Method

Preheat the oven to 180C.

Get your mash topping started first. Place the potato pieces in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to the boil over a high heat and cook for 20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft and can be easily pierced with the point of a sharp knife. Turn off the heat and drain the potatoes, then return them to the pan and leave it on the hob to dry out. Using a potato ricer or masher, mash the potatoes until smooth, then whisk in the butter, milk and egg. Set aside.

Meanwhile, bring 1 litre of water to the boil in a large saucepan. Add the fish pieces, remove from the heat and leave to poach for 5 minutes. Carefully remove the fish using a slotted spoon and set aside on a plate, then strain the poaching liquor (you’ve just made a fish stock!) and measure out 500ml, saving the remainder for soups or risottos.

Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium heat, add the celery, carrot, onion and fennel and saute for 5 minutes until softened. Increase the heat to high, add the butter and, once melted, stir in the flour. Cook for 2-3 minutes, stirring, to form a paste (roux). Reduce the heat to medium then add the fish stock and milk a few ladlefuls at a time, stirring all the while, until all the liquid has been added and the sauce is thick enough to coat the back of a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat, add the lemon juice and zest and season to taste, then stir in the chopped herbs.

Pour the sauce into a 30 x 22 x 5cm pie dish, arrange the fish pieces over the top and mix them into the sauce gently. Spread the mash carefully over the top, then pop the pie into the oven and bake for 30 minutes, or until the potato is nicely browned on top. Serve.

Recipe taken from How it is at Home, by Matt Wilkinson and Sharlee Gibb. Published by Hardie Grant

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