Fisherman's pie (or fish pie) is a great favourite with English families all over the country. There are many variations, some including prawns or other seafood, in addition to fish or peas and other vegetables. This recipe has some smoked haddock, which imparts a special touch. As with all good fish pies, it’s topped with a layer of creamy mash.
- 1 kg all-purpose potatoes, such as desiree
- 1 litre milk, approximately
- 100 g butter
- 800 g mixed skinless, boneless fish fillets
- 200 g smoked fish, such as haddock or cod
- 1 onion, sliced
- 2 cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- 4 hard-boiled eggs, cut into pieces
- ⅓ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 50 g plain flour
- freshly ground pepper
- a little grated nutmeg
- 80 g grated cheddar
Oven temperatures are for conventional; if using fan-forced (convection), reduce the temperature by 20˚C. | We use Australian tablespoons and cups: 1 teaspoon equals 5 ml; 1 tablespoon equals 20 ml; 1 cup equals 250 ml. | All herbs are fresh (unless specified) and cups are lightly packed. | All vegetables are medium size and peeled, unless specified. | All eggs are 55-60 g, unless specified.
Peel potatoes and cut into quarters. Place in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Season with salt. Place over medium-high heat and bring to the boil. Cook for 25-30 minutes or until potatoes are soft.
Meanwhile, heat 100 ml of milk and 50 g of butter in a saucepan over medium heat for 2-3 minutes or until melted and combined.
Mash the potatoes, then beat in the hot milk mixture. Set aside.
Place all fish, onion, cloves and bay leaves in a large saucepan. Cover with 900 ml milk. Place over medium-low heat and bring to a slow simmer. Poach fish for about 5 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer fish to a baking dish. Strain 500 ml milk into a bowl and discard excess. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, arrange hard-boiled egg over fish. Scatter with parsley.
Preheat oven to 180°C. Melt remaining butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for 2 minutes. Slowly whisk in the strained cooled milk mixture, whisking constantly until a smooth sauce forms. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Pour the sauce over the fish and egg in the baking dish.
Spoon or pipe the mashed potato over the fish, starting at the edge of the dish and working inwards. Scatter with cheese and bake for 30 minutes or until golden. Serve.
Photography by Benito Martin. Styling by Sarah O’Brien. Food preparation by Alice Storey.
Props by Hayden Youlley Design.
In-video photography by Peter Warren.