Welsh Witterings: How to Make a Perfect Fish Pie
When people talk about comfort food, fish pie is frequently mentioned, and this is a delicious dish that should be celebrated. A perfect fish pie is as good with a mug of tea as it is with a chilled glass of Champagne.
Seren’s Perfect Fish Pie Recipe
Serves 4 or 2 very hungry people
For the mash
1kg floury potatoes, such as King Edwards
50g salted butter
1 whole egg beaten
Splash of whole milk
¼ tsp nutmeg, ground
500ml vegetable stock
100ml dry white wine
Small bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped
350g cod or haddock
350g natural smoked haddock
150g peeled prawns
150g crayfish tails
For the sauce
50g plain flour
200ml double cream
50g smoked cheddar, grated.
Handful of white breadcrumbs
- Preheat the oven to 180C. Peel the potatoes and quarter them. Put in a large pan and cover with cold water, add a generous pinch of salt, and bring to the boil. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until soft enough to mash. Drain, and allow to sit in the colander for a few minutes, then mash until smooth, and beat in the butter, egg, nutmeg and a splash of milk. Season well with salt and pepper and set aside.
For the filling
- Put the vegetable stock and wine into a large pan, and bring to a simmer. Add the fish, and simmer for five of minutes, then lift out with a slotted spoon, remove the skins if any, and cut into large chunks.
For the sauce
- Melt the butter in a medium pan over a gentle heat, and then stir in the flour. Cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Gradually stir in the stock. Bring to a gentle boil, then simmer for about 20 minutes.
- Take the sauce off the heat and stir in the double cream, chopped parsley and cheese. Season to taste. Add the fish, prawns and crayfish and stir gently to coat in sauce.
- Put the seafood and sauce into a baking dish and top with the mashed potato. Bake for 20 minutes, then sprinkle over the breadcrumbs and bake for a further 15, until the top is golden. You can add a little extra grated cheese at this stage if you wish.