Surely the most comforting of comfort foods, great for a crowd and just as good eaten alone on the sofa
In our November issue, Olivia Potts, author of A Half Baked Idea (Fig Tree), talked about how cooking a fish pie helped her grieve for her mother and we all agreed that there’s something very gentle and soothing about both putting together and eating this dish. Baking a fish pie needn’t involve using every pan in your house. In this simple recipe, which first appeared in our November 2015 issue, the veg are included in the pie so you don’t even need a side dish. Spoon it out into a bowl to eat curled up with a blanket or perhaps bring it out for a bonfire night supper with friends.
You will need
200g boneless white fish fillets
200g skinless salmon fillet (pin-boned)
450ml full-fat milk
750g potatoes, peeled and halved
1 tbsp olive oil
4 baby leeks, finely sliced
3 shallots, diced
2 fennel bulbs, finely sliced
2 tbsp plain flour
150g frozen peas
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
juice of 1 lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
How to make
1 Preheat oven to 180C/Fan 160C/350F.
2 Place the fish in a baking dish, season and pour over 400ml of the milk. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes until the fish flakes slightly when pressed with a fork.
3 Remove the fish, reserving the milk. When cool enough to handle, flake the fish into bite- sized pieces and set aside.
4 Place the potatoes in a pot, cover with salted cold water, bring to the boil and simmer until soft. 5 Heat the olive oil in a shallow casserole over a low to medium heat on the hob and sautée the leeks, shallots and fennel until soft. Remove with a slotted spoon and set aside.
6 Melt 50g of the butter in the casserole, stir in the flour and cook over a low heat for 2-3 mins. Slowly add the reserved milk and continue to cook until thickened, stirring continuously.
7 Add the flaked fish, sautéed leeks, shallots and fennel, peas, 1 tbsp of the parsley and the lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper.
8 Drain the potatoes and mash with the remaining 50ml milk, 50g butter and rest of the chopped parsley until smooth. Season to taste.
9 Spoon the mash on top of the fish mixture and smooth with a spatula. Trace a pattern into the mash with a fork.
10 Place the casserole into the oven and bake for 20–25 mins or until golden.