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Fish Pie with Mashed Potato - Recipe
What used to be an economical dish, is now more expensive because of the price of fish. While cod or haddock are the ideal white fish, whiting or pollack serve well – as their normal tendency to dryness is averted by the sauce.
Using ½ white fish and ½ salmon works very well and looks appealing, but try to find a cheaper tail end piece.
All dish can be smartened-up to dinner party standards by adding about 2oz/60g of peeled prawns (but for real flavour, buy these 'shell-on & peel them).
The dish is quite rich, so goes best with a plain green vegetable or salad.
If you enjoy cooking take a minute to look at http://www.gourmetbritain.com/cookery-wine-schools/32475/simon-scrutton-cookery-classes/ - top-class dishes from beginners upwards
For 6 or 4 very generous helpings:
1.25 kilos/2½ lbs various skinned fish fillets (see above), cut into 2.5cm/1 ins pieces
250gr/8 oz shell-on North Atlantic Prawns, shelled at home, and their shells kept. You can use frozen shelled prawns, but they have little flavour by comparison and mainly of aesthetic value (as mentioned above, prawns are optional)
1 litre/1¾ pints Milk
1 medium Onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 Bay Leaf
½ teaspoon dried Mixed Herbs – or a Bouquet Garni for Fish from www.gourmetherbs.co.uk
60gr/2 oz Butter
About 45gr/1½ oz Plain White Flour (slightly less weight than the butter)
2-3 Eggs, hard-boiled, shelled the halved lengthways
Salt & freshly-ground Pepper to taste
A few pieces of fresh Parsley, roughly chopped including stalks (optional)
1 quantity of our ‘Mashed Potato’ recipe, made with 1 kilo of potatoes
Equipment needed: an ovenproof dish, large enough to hold all the ingredients.
1. Slowly heat the milk with the sliced onion, herbs and prawn shells (if using), bring to the boil carefully, then remove from the heat and allow the flavours to infuse for about half an hour – perhaps while you make the mashed potatoes.
2. Sieve the milk, discarding the solids.
3. Heat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/Gas 4.
4. Melt the butter gently in a saucepan large enough to hold all the ingredients, remove this from the heat and blend in the flour, using the back of a wooden spoon to remove any lumps.
5. Add a little of the milk to this paste, blending this in. Then return the pan to a low heat and gradually mix in the remaining milk, adding a little at a time and stirring to avoid lumps.
6. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and add the chopped parsley, if using.
7. Mix the fish pieces in, then pour the mixture into an ovenproof baking dish.
8. Push the halved hard-boiled eggs into the fish mixture at regular intervals, so each section of the pie has an equal share.
9. Cover the fish mixture evenly with the prepared mashed potato, using a fork to ‘spike-up’ the potatoes, encouraging the peaks to brown.
10. Bake in the pre-heated oven for 50 minutes.