The humble fish pie is a winner when it comes to soothing appetites in winter. Fresh white and smoked fish, béchamel sauce, creamy mashed potatoes and a crusty cheesy top sound like a pretty good combination to me.
It is totally up to you what else you add or seafood you prefer. Peas are generally served as an addition, however feel free to put them into the dish.
I used fresh monkfish and frozen kippers for this recipe. Monkfish is a beautiful firm meaty fish that won't disintegrate into the sauce. Again, its totally up to you what you use.
800 g fresh white fish
500 g smoked fish420 ml milk1 bay leaf8 peppercorns1/4 cup parsley stalks60 g butter60 g plain flour160 ml cream3 eggs, hard boiled2 tbsp capers1 tbsp lemon juice900 g potatoes50 g butter3 tbsp cream30 g gruyere, grated15 g parmesan, grated
Preheat oven to 180 degrees
Arrange the white fish in a large saucepan, pour over the milk and add the bay leaf, peppercorns and parsley. Cook on a medium heat until fish is just cooked through. Roughly 8 minutes.
Remove skin from the kipper fillets and chop into large pieces (4cm). Place in a large mixing bowl.
Once the white fish is cooked strain the liquid and keep to one side. Discard bay leaf, peppercorns and parsley.
When cool enough to handle, flake the fish into large pieces and add to mixing bowl.
To make the sauce melt butter in a saucepan and add flour. Once combined, gradually add the fish liquid and cream. Bring to the boil, then simmer for 3-4 minutes until thickened and cooked through. Stir in chopped parsley. Season to taste.
To the fish add hard boiled eggs, capers, lemon juice and the sauce. Gently mix as to not break up the fish. Season to taste.
Pour mixture into a baking dish. Set aside.
For the potato topping, peel and boil potatoes in salted water until cooked through. Strain.
Return potatoes to heat, allow to dry out for a minute or two. With a fork whip until smooth.
Once smooth add the butter and cream. Stir till combined. The mixture should be delightfully creamy. Season to taste.
Carefully pour topping over fish mixture and spread till covered.
Sprinkle top with grated cheeses.
Bake for 40 minutes or until top is golden brown.
Best served the next day however equally delicious straight out of the oven. All fish purchased from Moore Wilson.