Sophie's Ultimate Fish Pie

Sophie's Ultimate Fish Pie!
Sophie’s Ultimate Fish Pie!

I love fish pie. In my opinion, it’s the ultimate comfort food, because it’s rich, creamy (yet light at the same time), features mashed potato – and seafood is always a bonus.  This recipe involves a light poaching of the fish, a nutmeg & saffron infused mashed potato and a great range of different types of fish. If you tell your local fish monger what you’re making, they will prep and chop the fish for you – saving you time and effort, and minimising the risk of any bones being found in the pie. I also add jumbo king prawns, which I remove from the shell and add whole. Hmmm, yummy.

This dish is great served with a range of sides dishes; here, I serve it will buttered petits pois and green beans, however, it’s also great with baked beans or wilted spinach, depending on the situation or who you’re serving it to. Kids love the baked bean option, with a dash of ketchup, as you can imagine 🙂

This recipe serves 4 and in total takes about 1 hour to prep & cook. If you’re not going to cook the pie straight away, be sure to add 10 minutes to the cooking time below, (as it will have had time to cool if you prep it ahead and cook it later).

what you need;

for the filling

  • 400ml milk
  • 100g cod fillet, diced into chunks
  • 100g smoked haddock, diced into chunks
  • 100g Scottish salmon fillets, diced into chunks
  • 6 raw jumbo king prawns, peeled
Jumbo King Prawns, Scottish Salmon, Cod and Smoked Haddock
Jumbo King Prawns, Scottish Salmon, Cod and Smoked Haddock

for the mash

  • 1 kg (3-4 large) floury potatoes, such as Maris Pipers, peeled chopped into 2cm chunks
  • a splash of milk
  • 2 medium, free-range egg yolks
  • 30g butter, softened
  • pinch of saffron, with a dash of boiling water over it (I do this in an egg-cup)
  • 75g coarsely grated cheese (I use a mild cheddar)

for the herby white sauce

  • 25g butter
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 250ml veg stock
  • grating of fresh nutmeg
  • small bunch parsley, chopped
  • a bay leaf
  • zest of 1 un-waxed lemon

what to do:

1. First, make the mash potato topping. Place the potatoes in a large pan of cold, salted water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 15 minutes until cooked through.

2. Drain the potatoes and mash them finely (or if you have one, use a potato ricer to mince them. Mix in the milk and saffron and stir well, then add the egg yolks, butter and a small grating of nutmeg. Mix well, season to taste and set aside for later.

Using a potato ricer ensures super smooth mash with minimal effort!
Using a potato ricer ensures super smooth mash with minimal effort!
Egg Yolks in the Mash Potato
Egg Yolks in the Mash Potato for added richness

3. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4. Place 400ml milk into a saucepan and bring to a very gentle simmer. Add the chunks of fish (but not the king prawns) and slowly poach for 3 minutes. Then remove the fish from the pan using a slotted spoon and set aside, reserve the milk in the pan.

4. To make the herb sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan over a medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for a minute or so, keeping an eye it doesn’t catch or burn.

5. Add half (200ml) of the reserved poaching milk and whisk well. Stir in the veg stock, a grate of nutmeg, the bay leaf and season to taste with salt and black pepper.

6. Cook the sauce on a low heat until it thickens, then remove from the heat, mix in the parsley and the lemon zest.

7. Gently fold in the poached fish and king prawns, then pour the mixture into a oven-proof baking dish that can comfortably serve 4 people.

Fish Pie filling, with creamy herb sauce
Fish Pie filling, with creamy herb sauce

8. Dollop the mash potato on top and use a fork to make a criss-cross pattern, then sprinkle over the grated cheese.

9. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and piping hot. (Remember, if you’re not cooking the pie straight-away and are allowing to cool first, add 10 minutes to the cooking time).

Sophie's Ultimate Fish Pie Served with Buttered Greens
Sophie’s Ultimate Fish Pie Served with Buttered Greens

bon appetit, scranners! -x-

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