Fish pie with a potato crust

Fish pie is a fairly classic recipe in the UK. It is a mixed variety of fish and shellfish in a white sauce, with a mashed potato topping.

I have a recipe in my head that I’ve used since I was young and my mum taught me how to make fish pie, but I thought I’d mix it up and try a new recipe as I loved the sound of the dill and lemon in the sauce. It worked perfectly and was so delicious. I also loved the smoothness and creaminess of the sauce.

The recipe also calls for the addition of hard boiled eggs, to which I say ‘NO’ and ‘WHY?!’, so I left those out.

Recipe adapted from John Torode via BBC Good Food.

Serves 6

  • Carbs per portion: 13g
  • Cals per portion: 600

For the potato crust

  • 1kg Maris Piper potato, cut into chunks
  • good grind of nutmeg
  • 175ml double cream
  • 75g butter, plus a little extra for the top
  • 2 egg yolk (don’t forget to bag and freeze the egg whites for later!)

For the sauce

  • knob of butter
  • 2 shallot, finely chopped
  • ½ tsp fennel seeds, lightly crushed
  • 1 star anise
  • 300ml white wine
  • 300ml fish stock, fresh if possible
  • 300ml double cream

For the filling

  • 200g skinless smoked haddock fillet, pin-boned and cut into 3cm pieces
  • 200g skinless cod fillet, pin-boned and cut into 3cm pieces
  • 200g skinless salmon fillet, pin-boned and cut into 3cm pieces
  • 140g frozen peas
  • small bunch parsley, chopped
  • small bunch dill, chopped
  • juice ½ lemon
  1. Boil the potatoes for 10-15 mins until tender. Drain and mash with the nutmeg, cream, butter and some seasoning. Leave to cool slightly, then stir in the egg yolks and chill until ready to use.
  2. While the potatoes cook, make the sauce. Heat the butter in a large pan. Add the shallots, fennel seeds and star anise, and cook until the shallots are soft, about 5 mins. Add the wine, bubble and reduce until there is a syrupy glaze left – this will take 10-15 mins. Add the stock and continue bubbling until the liquid has reduced by half. Add cream and return to the boil for 2 mins, then strain and return to the pan.
  3. Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Add the fish pieces to the cream sauce and poach for 2 mins until just cooked. Fold through the peas and herbs, season and add a little lemon juice. Portion the fish sauce into individual dishes or 1 large dish. Top with the mashed potato: either pipe on with a piping bag fitted with a star nozzle or simply spoon on top and rough up with a fork. Dot the top with a little extra butter, then bake for 15 mins for small dishes or 30 mins for a large one, until golden and bubbling.