Epic Fish Pie

fish_pie

Epic Fish Pie

Courtesy of Claire Gardner: ‘This is the best fish pie I’ve ever made and it is perfect for a chilly night when you want to eat something comforting from a bowl with just a fork or a spoon. The sauce is tasty, but light, and the breadcrumbs and Parmesan add a yummy crunchiness.

200 grams of cod fillet, skinned and cut into rough 3 cm chunks (or another white chunky fish such as halibut or monkfish)
200 grams of salmon fillet, skinned and cut into rough 3 cm chunks
200 grams of smoked haddock fillet, skinned and cut into rough 3 cm chunks
½ small bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped

For the sauce:

50 grams unsalted butter
50 grams plain flour
125 ml white wine
500 ml fish stock (a good quality cube is fine if you haven’t made your own)
90 ml double cream
1tbsp English mustard
1tsp Worcestershire sauce
½ tsp anchovy essence
½ lemon, juiced
Salt and ground white pepper

For the topping:

1 kg floury potatoes, cooked and dry mashed
50 grams unsalted butter
50 ml milk
Salt and ground white pepper
20 grams fresh white breadcrumbs
10 grams freshly grated parmesan

Pre-heat the oven to 190C/170Cfan/gas 5.

  1. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over a low heat and gently stir in the flour. Gradually add the wine, stirring well. Slowly add the fish stock until you have a silky smooth sauce. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 15 minutes. To finish, add the cream and briefly bring to the boil again. Stir in mustard, Worcestershire sauce, anchovy essence and lemon juice. (Add more mustard and Worcestershire sauce if you like it spicy.) Check seasoning.
  2. Gently fold the fish and parsley into the hot sauce, and pour into a large pie dish, leaving a space of about 3 cm from the top of the dish. Leave to cool, so the topping will sit on the sauce when piped.
  3. Mix the butter and milk into the mashed potato until soft enough to spread over the fish mixture. Season. Pipe or gently fork to cover the fish.
  4. Bake the fish pie for 30 minutes. Sprinkle over the breadcrumbs and cheese, and bake for a further 10 minutes until golden.

Note: The best all-round potatoes are King Edwards – good for mashing, roasting and frying.

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