This English classic originated in small fishing villages as a way of using up the surplus catch. Laden with butter and cheese, this is deeply satisfying comfort food. Food Safari Water






Skill level

Average: 4 (122 votes)

This recipe makes two pies. Feel free to halve the recipe. 


  • 250 g smoked haddock, skinned 
  • 200 g salmon, skin and bones removed
  • 200 g snapper, skin and bones removed
  • 200 g peeled green banana prawns, deveined
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of ½ lemon
  • 1 small bunch dill, finely chopped
  • 200 g peas, blanched 
  • 1 leek, sliced  
  • 300 g cheddar cheese, grated 


  • 80 g butter
  • 80 g plain flour 
  • 500 ml (2 cups) milk, at room temperature
  • 500 ml (2 cups) fish stock
  • 450 g cheddar cheese, grated
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  • 2 kg Desiree potatoes 
  • 400 g unsalted butter, chopped 
  • 300 ml milk 

Cook's notes

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.


Preheat the oven to 200°C.

For the béchamel, place the butter in a saucepan and melt over low heat. Add the flour and stir for 1-2 minutes or until the mixture is sandy in colour. Mix the milk and stock together, then gradually add to the roux, whisking quickly to get rid of any lumps. Once all the liquid has been added, cook for another 2 minutes, whisking regularly. Whisk in the grated cheese until melted, then remove from the heat and season with salt and pepper. Cover the surface of the béchamel with plastic wrap to stop a skin from forming and stand until cool.

Meanwhile, for the mash, peel the potatoes and chop into large chunks. Place in a large saucepan of lightly salted water and simmer until tender. Drain well, then return to the pan with the butter and milk. Season with salt and mash until smooth. Using a wooden spoon beat until fluffy. Keep warm.

Dice the fish into 2 cm cubes and cut the prawns in half if large.

Once the béchamel is cool, fold through the lemon zest and juice, dill, peas, fish and prawns. Check for seasoning. Place in two 2L capacity ovenproof dishes. Spoon over the mashed potato, then sprinkle over the leek, followed by the grated cheese. Place on a baking tray and bake for 25-30 minutes or until golden and bubbling.


Photography by Sharyn Cairns. Styling by Lee Blaylock. Food preparation by Rachel Lane. Creative concept by Belinda So.

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