BBC Good Food - - Test Kitchen - pho­tographs PETER CAS­SIDY


Fish pie is a na­tional trea­sure of a dish. Large chunks of fish in a creamy white sauce with a hint of smok­i­ness, all topped with golden buttery mash. How­ever, the fish is nor­mally way over­cooked, some­thing we set out to fix.


We’ve cut out the pre-poach­ing of the fish to keep it ten­der, and upped the seafood flavour by mak­ing a stock base from the heads and shells of the prawns. We’ve also come up with some great op­tions for top­pings.

You will need

150g but­ter

1 shal­lot, finely chopped 400g shell-on raw prawns, peeled, heads and shells kept (see prawn stock tip, right)

400g smoked had­dock, skinned and trimmed (re­serve these), flesh diced into large chunks 1 bay leaf

1 star anise small splash pernod (op­tional) 150ml white wine

1.2 litres whole milk

1 tsp veg­etable bouil­lon pow­der or 1 veg­etable stock cube 60g plain flour

200ml low fat crème fraîche 400g skin­less white fish fil­let, diced into large chunks 200g salmon fil­let, diced into large chunks

2 tbsp capers, drained and finely chopped

1 lemon, juiced

1.5kg King Ed­ward pota­toes 4 eggs (op­tional) gruyère or medium ched­dar 40g pack ready salted crisps spinach, peas or wa­ter­cress, to serve

How to make it

1 Heat 25g of the but­ter in a shal­low pan and siz­zle the shal­lot for 2 mins. Add the prawn heads, shells and smoked had­dock skin and trim­mings, turn up the heat and cook for 5 mins un­til they start to brown. Throw in the bay and star anise, then splash in the pernod if us­ing and then the wine. Boil ev­ery­thing down un­til prac­ti­cally evap­o­rated, then pour over the milk and sprin­kle in the veg­etable bouil­lon. Sim­mer ev­ery­thing for 15 mins, turn off the heat, crush the shells with a potato masher and strain into a jug.

2 Clean out the pan and melt 60g of but­ter, stir in the flour so you have a sandy paste and cook for 2 mins on a low heat. Grad­u­ally stir in the flavoured milk, then the crème fraîche, and sim­mer gen­tly to make a very thick sauce. Sea­son to taste. Turn off the heat and gen­tly fold through all the fish and prawns, capers and lemon juice. Scrape into a large but­tered bak­ing dish.

3 Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 8. Bring the pota­toes to the boil in a large pan of wa­ter, add the eggs and sim­mer for 8 mins. Scoop out the eggs, put in a bowl of cold wa­ter to cool, then peel, halve and push into the sauce. Drain the pota­toes and mash with the re­main­ing milk and but­ter. Spread or pipe the mash over the pie. Sprin­kle with gruyère and/or crush over crisps. Put the pie on a bak­ing tray and cook for 35 mins un­til golden and just bub­bling over. Leave to sit for at least

10 mins be­fore eat­ing with but­tered spinach, peas or wa­ter­cress.

GOOD TO KNOW cal­cium

PER SERV­ING 629 kcals • fat 29g

• sat­u­rates 17g • carbs 46g • sug­ars 10g • fi­bre 4g

• pro­tein 39g • salt 1.9g

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