The ultimate fish pie

Who’s up for fish pie? A classic dish that is the essential comfort food! Perfect for autumnal nights and weekends, all cosy with family.

I’m not going to lie, it does cost a little to get all the ingredients as fish can be pricey, which can be annoying as I love fish! So I don’t cook this all the time, but when I do it’s nice to go all out and is a real show stopper.

Some people poach the fish in milk, which is then used for the white sauce, but I prefer cutting up the fish and cooking it from raw as it keeps it chunky and doesn’t over cook it (less sloppy!) and then it’s not a ‘fishy’ fish pie – if that makes any sense at all! It also saves time, which is something we can all agree on!

Optional extras that I add are hard boiled eggs, which is quite traditional and I love, but I also love adding some green, in the form of spinach. I find it gives some gorgeous flavour, colour and texture. Feel free to keep these in or change up for something else like peas.

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 Recipe (serves 4-6)

280g salmon fillets

280g smoked haddock fillets

280g cod or other white fish

165g raw king prawns

3 tbsp butter

2 tbsp flour

500ml milk

200g spinach

4 eggs

1kg potatoes (about 6 large potatoes)

Salt and pepper

50g cheddar

Peel and cube the potatoes, then boil until soft in salted water. When cooked, drain well, let steam dry for 5 minutes (removes some the moisture so you get a drier mash), then return to the pan. Add in 1 tbsp if the butter and a splash of milk, along with some salt and mash well until completely smooth. Leave to one side.

Boil the eggs for 10 minutes until hard. Run under cold water and leave aside. You can add the eggs to the potato water to boil to save on pans.

Next, heat the rest of the butter in a pan until melted. Add in the flour and beat well until combined. Slowly add in the milk. bit by bit and stirring constantly until smooth. Season with some salt and pepper.

Cut the fish into chunks, then stir into the white sauce, along with the prawns and spinach. The spinach should wilt in the heat of the white sauce, but you can do this on a low low heat to wilt faster.

Pour the fish mixture into a baking dish, spread out so it’s smooth then leave to go cold. It makes it easier to spread the mash on top but also makes it less likely for the fish mix to merge with the mash, so keeps it separate and less sloppy.

When cold, dollop the mash on top and spread out to create an even layer. Sprinkle with the cheese and then bake in the oven at 180c for 50-60 minutes, until bubbling at the edges.

Serve piping hot with some steamed vegetables. Delicious!

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