Fish pie is always a winner, but the chefs of Fortnum & Mason have a few extra touches which elevate this recipe still further.
‘Now this is a serious fish pie, with smoked haddock, salmon and cod at its heart,’ the chefs of Fortnum & Mason write in their cookbook, from which this recipe is taken — and we can’t disagree, especially with the prawns and green beans for added texture and Parmesan crust for yet another layer of taste.
As with any fish pie, you should feel free to substitute some of the ingredients depending on what’s good at your fish counter — just use the same amount of a different fish, and you can even swap scallops for prawns.
‘In short,’ they conclude, ‘a piscine feast to impress Neptune. Or any hungry friends.
Serves 4 — you can make it as four individual pies or one larger pie
- 900g floury potatoes, such as Desiree, peeled and cut into chunks
- 110g unsalted butter
- 600ml whole milk, plus a little extra for the mash, if needed
- 200g undyed smoked haddock
- 2 bay leaves
- 100g salmon fillet, skinned and diced
- 100g fine green beans, cut in half
- 50g plain flour
- 5 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 200g cooked Atlantic prawns
- 40g parmesan cheese, freshly grated
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
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Cook the potatoes in a large pan of boiling salted water until tender. Drain well and mash over a low heat; this helps any excess water in the potatoes steam away. Beat in 50g of the butter and season well, adding a splash of milk if the mash is too stiff.
Poach the smoked haddock by putting it in a pan with the milk and bay leaves and bringing I to a gentle simmer. It should be cooked through at this point; if not, turn it over and give it a minute longer. Remove the fish from the pan and flake the flesh into chunks, discarding the skin and any bones. Reserve the milk.
Steam the diced salmon and cod for 4-5 minutes, until just cooked through. Cook the green beans in a pan of boiling salted water for 4 minutes, until tender, then drain and refresh in cold water (this helps preserve their bright colour).
Meanwhile, melt the remaining butter in a pan and stir in the flour to form a roux. Cook for 1-2 minutes over a gentle heat. Strain the warm milk into a jug and gradually add it to the roux, stirring constantly, until you have a smooth sauce. Simmer for a few minutes, then season to taste and stir in the chopped parsley.
Pour a little of the sauce into 4 individual pie dishes (or one large dish). Divide the fish, beans and prawns between them and cover with the rest of the sauce. Allow to cool so that the sauce sets. Top with mashed potato. Sprinkle with the Parmesan cheese and bake in an oven heated to 180oC/Gas Mark 4 for about 20 minutes, until golden brown and thoroughly heated through.
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