Share & Connect
Entering into the winter season, for those of us in need of a warm, homey meal once a day to keep our spirits up, the British tradition of ‘pie’ is a comfort food, perfect for the winter months.
The fish pie is a very traditional dish along the lines of shepherd’s pie, usually consisting of white fish like cod or haddock, prawns, and boiled eggs, all covered in a white sauce and topped with smooth, mashed potatoes. It is baked in the oven and served with peas.
This is a classic recipe, and you can add eggs during the assembly. Simply cut three boiled eggs into wedges and sprinkle them on top along with the prawns. Some find the idea of whipping up the white sauce a daunting challenge, but in my experience it is surprisingly simple as long as you follow the steps.
Heat the oven to 180C/fan 160C. Cook the potatoes until tender, about 20 minutes, then drain and mash with half the butter and a splash of milk. Season.
Gently sweat the shallots and leek in a knob of butter until soft, then add garlic and cook for a couple of minutes. Set aside.
Meanwhile, bring the milk to a weak simmer in a large frying pan – when you see the first bubbles, add the fish, onion, and bay leaves, then cover and cook for 6-8 minutes. Lift the fish out onto a plate, and strain the milk into a jug.
Melt the remaining butter in a pan, stir in flour for 1 minute over a medium heat. Take off the heat, pour in a little poaching milk, then stir until mixed. Continue to add the milk gradually, mixing well until you have a smooth sauce. Return to the heat, bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes, stirring continuously, until it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, season with salt and pepper, then mix in the parsley.
Flake the fish into a pie dish, sprinkle with prawns, and then the shallots and leek before pouring on the sauce and spooning on the mash, making sure it reaches the sides. Rough up the top with a fork and bake for 20-30 minutes until golden and crisp.