THE ULTIMATE FISH PIE
SERVES 6 PREP 40 mins COOK 1 hr A LITTLE EFFORT
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
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