This fish pie is absolutely delicious and easy to make, perfect for a family feast or freezing for later.
Cod and haddock are the standard suggestion, however you can also mix it up by swapping the haddock for some salmon, in which case switch the parsley for dill.
For some added depth to the flavour and a more Thai style add a handful of fresh peeled prawns and some chopped squid in with the other fish.
- 400g skinless white fish fillet
- 400g skinless smoked haddock fillet
- 600ml full-fat milk
- 1 small onion, quartered
- 4 cloves
- 2 bay leaves
- small bunch of chopped parsley, leaves only
- 100g butter
- 50g plain flour
- pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
- 1kg floury potato, peeled and cut into even-sized chunks
- 50g cheddar, grated
- Poach 400g skinless white fish fillets and 400g skinless smoked haddock fillets.
- Put the fish in the frying pan and pour over 500ml of the full-fat milk. Quarter 1 small onion and stud each quarter with a clove, then add to the milk, with 2 bay leaves. Bring the milk just to the boil until it starts making very small bubbles. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8 mins. Lift the fish onto a plate and strain the milk into a jug to cool. Flake the fish into large pieces in the baking dish and scatter over the chopped leaves of a small bunch of parsley.
- Make the sauce.
- Melt 50g butter in a pan, stir in 50g plain flour and cook for 1 min over moderate heat. Take off the heat, pour in a little of the cold poaching milk, then stir until blended. Continue to add the milk gradually, mixing well until you have a smooth sauce. Return to the heat, bring to the boil and cook for 5 mins, stirring continually, until it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, season with salt, pepper and a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, then pour over the fish.
- Assemble and bake.
- Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Boil 1kg floury potatoes, cut into even-sized chunks, for 20 mins. Drain, season and mash with the remaining 50g butter and 100ml full-fat milk. Use to top the pie, starting at the edge of the dish and working your way in – push the mash right to the edges to seal. Fluff the top with a fork, sprinkle over 50g grated cheddar, then bake for 30 mins. Make up to a day ahead, chill, then bake for 40 mins.