Mrs Nor­man’s fish pie

Serves four

Esquire (UK) - - Style -

• 750g Maris Piper pota­toes

• 300g mixed salmon, had­dock

and smoked pol­lock fil­lets

• 250g large prawns

• 2 hard-boiled eggs, halved

• 500ml whole milk

• 100g salted but­ter

• 50g plain flour

• Small bunch of pars­ley, chopped

• Grated nut­meg

• Flaky sea salt

• Ground black pep­per

Method

1.

Peel, quar­ter and boil the pota­toes for mash. Mean­while, poach the fish and prawns in the milk for about 10mins. Use a slot­ted spoon to re­move the fish and prawns from the milk and set aside. Flake the fish into un­even chunks. Keep the milk for the next step.

2.

Make a white sauce by melt­ing half the but­ter in a large, heavy pan and slowly stir­ring in flour to cre­ate a paste. Heat gently un­til it’s golden brown. Now, very slowly and grad­u­ally, stir in the fishy milk you used for poach­ing. Keep the heat low so the milk doesn’t boil. Keep adding milk and stir­ring un­til the flour and but­ter mix­ture is com­pletely blended with the milk in a vel­vety sauce. Grate in a lit­tle nut­meg at this point. Now add the chopped pars­ley, a good pinch of salt and a twist of black pep­per, and fold in the fish and prawns.

3.

Pre­heat the oven to 180˚C. Add the re­main­ing but­ter and a good pinch of salt to your pota­toes and mash them thor­oughly or pass them through a ricer. If you have a lit­tle fishy milk left you can add this too. Spread the fish, prawn and white sauce mix­ture in an oven­proof dish. Place the four egg halves into the mix, face up, spac­ing them evenly so each por­tion con­tains egg. Spoon the mash on top and use the ricer to fin­ish off, cre­at­ing a pat­tern of strands that will crisp nicely and turn golden brown in the oven.

4.

Put the dish on a bak­ing tray and place on the mid­dle shelf for about 30mins. If the top doesn’t brown well, place it un­der a medium grill for the last 5mins. Serve with hot but­tered greens or a big bowl of minty peas.

Rus­sell Nor­man is the founder of Polpo and Spuntino; In­sta­gram: @rus­sel­l_nor­man; rus­sell­nor­man.net

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