Thursday, 2 January 2014

Savoury Fish Pie

After a meat pie, I think a fish pie is one of my ultimate comfort foods. I found this recipe from one of Anthony Worrall Thompson's cookbook. To save money, I buy a pack of fish pieces that contain a mix of smoked and unsmoked haddock, cod, and salmon instead of a whole fillet, and a pack of mixed seafood that generally contains prawns, mussels, and squid.

Fish pie with a chive mash

Anthony Worrall Thompson's Ultimate Fish Pie

You will need: 

450 ml Milk
1 x Bay leaf
Few black peppercorns
1 sm Onion, roughly chopped
1 kg White fish fillets, such as cod, coley, pollack or ling ( I use a non-dyed smoked haddock)
175 gm Cooked peeled large prawns
4 Tablespoons Chopped fresh herbs, (parsley, chives, chervil, or tarragon)
100 gm butter
2 large Shallots, finely chopped
175 gm Button mushrooms, sliced (I usually leave these out)
50 gm Plain flour
150 ml Double cream (thick cream)
1/4 x Lemon, pips removed
1 kg Potatoes, cut into chunks
2 Tablespoons Wholegrain mustard
Salt and freshly ground white pepper


Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

1 Place the milk in a saute pan with the bay leaf, peppercorns and onion. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for a couple of minutes.

2 Set aside for at least 10 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse.
Add the fish to the infused milk and poach for 5 minutes or until just tender. Remove from the heat and leave to cool, then lift out the fish and roughly flake the flesh, discarding any skin and bone.

3 Place the fish in a large bowl with the prawns and herbs. Strain the poaching milk into a jug. Melt half the butter in a pan and fry the shallots for 5 minutes to soften.

4 Add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes until tender, then stir in the flour and cook for a minute or so, stirring constantly.
Remove from the heat and gradually add the poaching milk. Season, return to the heat and simmer for a few minutes. Keep stirring until thickened.

5 Stir in half of the cream and add a good squeeze of lemon, then fold into the fish mixture and season. Pour into a buttered 25cm/10in pie dish and set aside to allow a skin to form.

Allow a skin to form

6 Place the potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until tender. Drain, return to the pan to dry out and then mash until smooth.

7 Beat in the remaining butter and cream and the mustard. Season to taste. Carefully spread over the fish mixture and pull a fork across the top to make a wavy-line pattern. Bake for 30-40 minutes until bubbling and lightly golden. Serve hot with a big spoonful of peas.

Cooked fish pie