Fish Pie!

Who doesn’t love a fish pie? Even people who don’t really like fish find it difficult to resist this creamy, cheesy, potatoey mix. And the best thing about fish pie is that it reheats perfectly, so keep some in the fridge for the next day and shove it in the microwave for an indulgent lunch. 

This fish pie recipe is super-easy — just four steps to teatime perfection. 

The ingredients

Of course, you need fish. Go for 200 g/7 oz fish per person, making up a mix of white fish fillet and smoked haddock. Or include king prawns and scallops if you’re being all fancy. 

This particular recipe is for four people — divide everything by two for a meal for two. 

So, you’ll need:

  • 800 g/1/8 lb white fish and smoked haddock (half and half is delightful!)
  • 600ml/2.5 cups semi-skimmed/2% milk
  • A small onion, cut into four
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 eggs
  • Parsley leaves, chopped
  • 100g/ ½ cup butter
  • 50g/1.8 oz flour
  • Nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 1kg/35 oz floury potatoes for mashing
  • 50g/ ¾ cup cheddar cheese

That might seem like a lot of ingredients, but this is still easy and definitely worth the shopping cart! 

The method

Poach the fish

Add your fish to a frying pan and pour over most of the fish, leaving 100ml/ ½ cup for later. Add the onion (quartered), studded with the cloves, and the bay leaves. 

Bring the milk to a simmer, then heat the fish for 8 minutes. Then, remove the fish and flake it with a fork. 

Place the flaked fish into your baking dish. 

The eggs

Hard boil the eggs by simmering them in gently boiling water for 8 minutes, then drain and cool in cold water. 

Once they’ve cooled down, peel the eggs of their shells and the outer membrane. Slice each egg into quarters and scatter the slices over the flaked fish, adding a small bunch of chopped parsley. 

All very easy so far! 

The sauce

Now, it’s time to make the sauce. 

So, melt the butter in a pan, stirring in the flour — keep rapidly stirring for 1 minute over a moderate heat. This is your roux.  

Remove the pan from the heat. Now, add a little of the cooled poaching milk, stirring until smooth. Keep adding more milk, continually stirring until you’ve got a smooth sauce. 

Return the sauce to the heat and warm for 5 minutes, stirring continuously. When the sauce coats the back of your spoon, it’s ready. 

At this stage, remove from the heat and season with salt, milled black pepper, and a little freshly grated nutmeg. 

Pour the sauce over the fish. And place the dish back in the oven at a slightly lower temperature –  200ºC/390ºF for 20 minutes. 

The potatoes

Chop your potatoes into chunks and boil in a large pan of water for around 20 minutes until soft.

Then, drain the potatoes, leaving them to dry for a couple of minutes. 

Now, mash with the butter and remaining milk, adding seasoning to taste. 

Now, remove the roasting tin from the hot oven and top the pie with the mash, pushing it all the way to the edges to seal it. Fluff up the top with a fork, then sprinkle the grated cheddar and pop it back in the oven for a final 30 minutes.

And enjoy!

Serve with freshly steamed green beans, butter spinach, or roasted carrots! 

Wine for a fish pie?

Stick with tradition, and pair your fish pie with a light, crisp white, such as a good-quality Chardonnay (none of that South Eastern Australian muck, though!). Think Chablis or a grenache blanc. 

Or, if you’re really pushing the boat out, champagne is a fabulous pairing!

Comfort food fit for a king

Well, it’s really comfort food fit for any head of state, in fairness. Or just your loved ones!

So, if you’re feeling a little blue and missing the sunshine of summer, get cooking and feel the love — direct from your plate. 

Bon appetit and good comfort!

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