WHAT TO EAT THIS WEEKEND

Prue Leith’s Family fish pie

This is a crowd-pleasing favourite, ideal for a cosy weekend lunch

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This is a crowd-pleasing favourite, ideal for a cosy weekend lunch

Posted

  • Serves 6
  • Preparation time 15 minutes
  • Cooking time 65 minutes
  • 1kg Maris Piper potatoes, peeled and halved or quartered
  • 50-75ml semi-skimmed milk
  • A knob of butter
  • For the filling:
  •  
  • 300ml semi-skimmed or whole milk
  • ¼ onion, sliced
  • 4 black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 200g salmon fillet, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 400g haddock fillet, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 5 medium eggs, hard-boiled
  • 30g butter
  • 2 heaped tsp plain flour
  • 2 heaped tsp cornflour
  • 2 tbsp double cream
  • A small handful of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped
  • Finely grated zest of 1 small lemon
  • Salt and pepper to season
  1. Firstly, make your mash. Cook the potatoes in salted boiling water for about 15 minutes until they are tender and cut like soft butter. Drain well and return to the pan, cover, then shake well so the potatoes break up a little. Remove the lid and allow them to steam dry for a minute or two. Mash with the milk, butter and plenty of salt and pepper, until smooth and fluffy. Set aside to get cold.
  2. Heat the oven to 180°C/fan 170°C/gas mark 4.
  3. For the filling, put the milk, onion, peppercorns, bay leaf and a pinch of salt in a small saucepan and heat until steaming. Remove from the heat and set aside for three to four minutes to infuse and cool slightly. Lay the salmon and haddock in a small roasting tin, skin side down.
  4. Strain the infused milk over the fish, discarding the flavourings. Cover with a lid or foil and bake in the oven for 10 to 12 minutes, until the fish is barely cooked through, just enough to feel firm and for the skin to peel off easily. Strain the milk (reserving it for later) and transfer the fish to a large bowl. Remove any bones and the skin.
  5. Peel the eggs and cut lengthways into quarters.
  6. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan, stir in the plain flour and cook for a minute. Remove from the heat. In a jug or large cup, mix the cornflour with a little of the reserved milk until smooth, then stir in half of the remaining milk. Now add this to the butter and flour in the pan, a little at a time, stirring to avoid lumps. Return the pan to the heat, add the remaining milk and bring to the boil, stirring. Reduce the heat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add the double cream, parsley and lemon zest.
  7. Lay the fish in a 2-litre pie dish, along with the egg quarters. Pour over the sauce.
  8. Spoon a layer of mash over the fish, starting from the edges. Once the filling is covered, create a criss-cross pattern on the top using the back of a fork. Put the pie on a baking tray and bake in the oven until the top is just beginning to brown – about 30 minutes.

Prue’s tip: There are all sorts of delicious variations on fish pie: smoked fish is good; chopped tarragon makes a sophisticated addition (though I find "green bits" can put my grandchildren off); cooked peas, mushrooms or broccoli can stretch the pie. Sometimes I like to add curry paste to the sauce. It’s a great dish for experimentation.

Recipe extracted from Prue Leith: My All-time Favourite Recipes

Recipe extracted from Prue Leith: My All-time Favourite Recipes

By Prue Leith

Published by Bluebird

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Tagged in:
Fish
Pie
Comfort food

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