Friday, 6 June 2014

Ultimate Fish Pie

Fish pies are one of those dishes that you can really change and mix up depending on what you can get your hands on, fish-wise, and what you fancy generally in the taste department. I wanted a mixture of plain white fish, smoked fish and shellfish in this particular one but any two of even just one of these would work excellently.

Anchovy essence (I think it just helps bring out the inherent fishiness of the fish!) and capers (I love their piquancy) are entirely optional. I contemplated adding chopped boiled egg above the fish sauce layer but below the mash which is fairly traditional I believe but in the end decided against it and although the dish as a whole most definitely didn’t miss the addition, I would be interested to see what it would be like so will try it out another time.

As it stand though, this is lovely, and by far the best fish pie I have made to date. Serve alongside any green vegetable but I really don’t think you can beat a pile of slightly buttered peas.

My Ultimate Fish Pie
Serves 4

700g floury potatoes, peeled and diced into 1-inch squares
40g butter
splash of milk
1 egg yolk
375ml fish stock
75ml white wine
glug of pastis
small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
250g hake fillets
300g smoked haddock
140g raw prawns
40g butter
40g plain flour
150ml double cream
1 tsp anchovy essence
1-2 tsp capers
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 leek, finely sliced
1 onion, finely chopped
2 good handfuls grated mature Cheddar
juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
small handful of parmesan

Preheat the oven to 200C.

Put the potatoes into salted boiling water and bring back to a boil for 10 minutes. Drain when they are done and allow to sit in the colander for a few minutes, then mash until smooth, and beat in the butter and a splash of milk. Mix in the egg yolk, cheese and a squeeze of lemon with a dash of nutmeg and set aside.

Meanwhile, slowly fry the onion and leek in a little olive oil until the vegetables are softened and the onions translucent. Stir in the anchovy essence.

Turn the heat up and splash in the wine and pastis and simmer hard until the alcohol has burnt off and the liquid has almost evaporated. Scrape out the boozy veg into a bowl.

Melt the butter in the pan and then carefully stir in the flour so that there are no lumps and gradually add the fish stock. When it has all incorporated add the double cream, and bring just to a boil.

Remove from the heat and add the rest of the lemon juice, mustard, capers and parsley.

Add the vegetables back in along with the fish and prawns and stir well.

Pour it all into an ovenproof dish and top with the mashed potato. Sprinkle over some parmesan and pop into the oven.

Cook for 30 minutes then remove from the oven and set aside for about 5 minutes to cool slightly. Serve with your choice of green vegetables.


  1. I love fish pie! I don't think I could ever add boiled egg to it though!

  2. Yeah, it does seem a bit weird really. And I love boiled eggs!