Fabulous fish pie

Preparation time
less than 30 mins

Cooking time
30 mins to 1 hour



From The Hairy Bikers' Comfort Food

Ingredients

For the filling

  • 600ml/1 pint 1fl oz full-fat milk
  • 1 onion, peeled and cut into sixths (keep the root intact)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 500g/1lb 2oz thick white fish fillets, such as cod, haddock or pollock
  • 500g/1lb 2oz smoked haddock fillet, preferably undyed
  • 500g/1lb 2oz thick salmon fillet
  • 6 free-range eggs (optional)
  • 75g/3oz butter
  • 75g/3oz plain flour
  • 3 tbsp white wine
  • 100ml/3½fl oz double cream
  • small bunch fresh dill, leaves removed
  • sea salt flakes and freshly ground black pepper

For the topping

  • 1.25kg/2½lb potatoes, peeled and cut into even-sized pieces
  • 75g/3oz butter, cubed
  • 75ml/3fl oz double cream
  • 150g/5oz mature Cheddar, coarsely grated

Method

  1. For the filling, pour the milk into a large saucepan and add the onion and bay leaves. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place the fish fillets in the pan and bring to a very gentle simmer. Cover with a lid and cook for two minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside to stand and infuse for five minutes until the fish is almost cooked. Drain the fish through a colander into a bowl, then pour the milk into a jug.

  2. Meanwhile, for the topping, cook the potatoes in simmering water for 15 minutes or until the potatoes are soft. Drain in a colander then return to the pan and mash with the butter, cream and three-quarters of the grated cheese. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  3. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

  4. Fill a saucepan one-third full with water and bring to the boil. Gently add the eggs to the water and cook for nine minutes. Drain in a colander under running water for 1-2 minutes then transfer to a bowl of very cold water and set aside.

  5. Melt the butter in a medium saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook for a few seconds, and then gradually add the infused milk, wine and cream, stirring over a medium heat for five minutes until the sauce is smooth and thick. Season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

  6. Remove the sauce from the heat and add the dill fronds into the sauce. Peel the eggs and cut in half.

  7. Spoon a third of the sauce into the base of a large ovenproof dish or 6-8 individual dishes. Scatter half the fish fillets over the sauce, breaking them into chunky pieces as you go, discarding the skin, onion and bay leaves. Place half the eggs on top and pour over another third of the sauce. Continue with the layering process until the ingredients are used up.

  8. Spoon the potato over the fish mixture, starting at the edges before making your way into the centre. Fluff up the potato with a fork and sprinkle with the remaining cheese. Place the dish on a baking tray and bake in the centre of the oven for about 45 minutes or until the top is golden-brown and the filling is bubbling.

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