Luxury fish pie

  • Serves: 2
  • Preparation time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking time: 1 hour
  • Total time: 1½ hours

Ingredients

  • 300g/11oz fish/shellfish
  • 1.25kg/2¾lb floury potatoes
  • 1 cup crème fraiche
  • ½ garlic bulb, finely chopped
  • A handful of fresh parsley, finely chopped
  • 50g/2oz grated cheese
  • 25g/1oz butter
  • Salt & black pepper
Luxury fish pie

Fish pie is a traditional British dish, and what it lacks in glamour, it more than makes up in simplicity, taste, and comfort.

For this recipe I have used salmon, haddock, and smoked haddock - but you can substitute these for almost any seafood; cod, prawns, pollack or even mussels all work well too. I do however strongly recommend the inclusion of a smoked fish though, the smokey taste cuts through the mash and creamy sauce and adds greater depth to the dish.

The only constant ingredients in traditional fish pie recipes are potatoes and white fish - so within reason you can experiment a little - adding brocolli or even cut boiled eggs is common too!

As the potatoes are going to be mashed, floury potatoes like Maris Piper or King Edwards work best.

Preparation

Use the butter to line an ovenproof dish that the pie will be created in. I use a rectangular stoneware dish; the same one I also use to make crumbles and lasagne in - its about 6cm/2½ deep.

Cut the fish into 2cm/1in chunks, or prepare any other seafood you plan to use - these don't need to be cooked first, as they will cook in the oven.

Method

  1. Peel the potatoes, cut them into equal sized chunks and cook until soft in a pan of water. This should take about 20 minutes or until a fork passes into the potato easily.
  2. Peel and finely chop the garlic and put it in a small non-stick saucepan. To this add 3/4 of the crème fraiche and cook it gently for a couple of minutes until it goes smooth, add 150ml of milk and stir together - adding seasoning to taste. Once that's done you can remove the pan from the heat.
  3. Spread the fish evenly over the bottom of the oven dish, and pour over the sauce, in my case this gave it a depth of about 3cm/11/2in.
  4. Finely chop the parsley and mix it through the seafood and sauce mixture.
  5. When the potatoes are cooked drain the water and mash them until smooth - adding the remainder of the creme fraiche and milk a little at a time.
  6. Preheat your oven to 180ºC/350°F or Gas Mark 4.
  7. Once the mash is ready gently spoon it on top of the seafood mixture, the depth of mash should be little greater than the mixture - around 2-4cm or 1-2in in my case. Smooth the mash over the mixture and level it before scoring it with a fork.
  8. Place in the top shelf of the pre-heated oven for 35 minutes.
  9. After 35 minutes in the oven remove the dish and sprinkle over some grated cheese (I used white cheddar, but Parmesan works well too. Place the dish back in the oven and cook until the cheese turns golden.
  10. Remove from the oven and serve hot.
Crème fraiche is a delicious, thinner form of sour cream first developed by the French. It has a slight hold and tanginess because it contains bacterial cultures.

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