I have made this recipe so many times since starting this blog and yet never managed to photograph it – it was always eaten before I had time to blink! It is, literally, THE best fish pie and a real winter favourite. The original recipe comes from the J Sheekey Fish book but I have adjusted it to our taste over time. It is delicious with the mashed potato topping and equally delicious with pie crust topping. The one thing it is not is particularly diet-friendly but I even found my way around that by replacing the potato with celeriac mash. It is surprising delicious – a new favourite whenever mash is called for.
This recipe uses frozen fish and prawns so it can be made pretty much whenever I fancy it provided the freezer is well stocked. You can use packs of fish pie mix (usually cod, salmon and smoked haddock) but I prefer to buy fillets of fish, let them defrost slowly overnight in the fridge and cut them up. You can vary the recipe and add fancy things like lobster or mussels if you so wish (or even peas… but my son picks those out). I hope you come back and sound off in the comments if you make this baby – and I hope you love it as much as we do!
Best ever fish pie
Makes 1 large pie of 4 individual portions
200g | 7oz skinned cod fillets, chopped into bite-sized cubes
200g | 7oz skinned salmon fillets, chopped into bite-sized cubes
200g | 7oz skinned haddock fillets, chopped into bite-sized cubes
200g | 7oz large raw peeled prawns
2 tbsp flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp fresh dill, chopped (optional)
For the sauce
3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp plain flour
125ml | 1/2 cup white cooking wine
375ml | 1 1/2 cup hot fish stock (from a stock cube)
80ml | 1/3 cup double cream (or whole milk)
1 tbsp lemon juice (or to taste)
1 tbsp English mustard
1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
1/2 tsp anchovy paste
1/4 tsp ground white pepper
salt, to taste
For the topping
1kg | 2.2lbs peeled potatoes, cubed (such as Maris Piper – or any suitable for mashing)
2 tbsp unsalted butter
a little freshly grated nutmeg (optional)
a little grated Parmesan
salt, to taste
1. Melt the butter in a saucepan over low heat and gradually stir in the flour to make a roux.
2. Add the wine, stirring well, and then slowly add the fish stock until you have a smooth sauce. Bring to the boil then simmer gently for 15 minutes.
3. Add the cream and stir in the mustard, Worcestershire sauce, anchovy paste, lemon juice and pepper. Taste and adjust the seasoning, adding salt to taste.
4. Gently fold the fish, prawns, parsley and dill (if using) into the sauce then let it cool while you prepare the mash.
5. Preheat the oven top 190C (360F). Boil the potatoes in plenty of water then drain and mash together with the butter and enough milk to have a smooth, soft, mash. Add the nutmeg if using and season with salt. Leave to cool slightly.
6. Either divide the fish between 4 small pie dishes or pour into one large ovenproof dish filling up 2/3 of the way up.
7. Pipe the mash over the pie and place on a large, heavy baking tray (there will be some overspill). Bake for 30 minutes and then add a sprinkling of parmesan cheese over the pies. Bake for another five minutes or until golden. Cool slightly before serving.
This recipe was created for Sainsburys #LoveYour Freezer campaign.