Classic British fish pie recipe – Rob Morris and The Co-operative
2 250g packs of white fish
1 150g packet of prawns
1 pint milk
2 bay leaves
25g plain flour
3 hard-boiled eggs
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
750g mashed potatoes (kept warm)
2 washed, chopped leeks
1 tbsp olive oil
20 g butter
50g grated cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper to taste
You can use whatever fish you prefer – if you feel like it, or it’s a special occasion you could use a beautiful piece of Co-operative farmed Scottish salmon – we’re using a responsibly sourced cod.
Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees C — that’s gas mark 5.
Now put the milk into a saucepan with the bay leaves, peppercorns and the white fish of your choice. Over a low heat bring to this to a simmer, then remove from the heat.
When that’s done, strain the milk through a sieve over a bowl or a jug, also make sure you pick out the peppercorns and the bay leaves.
Flake the fish over the oven dish. Get a handful of prawns, scatter them over the top and leave it to one side.
OK, sauce time – In a clean saucepan melt 25g of the butter, and once that’s melted add in the flour and give it a stir to form a paste.
Next, gradually add the milk a little at a time, whisking as you go — to make a perfect white sauce. It’s important it is to do this over a low heat — that really is the secret.
When you’ve got a lovely white sauce, season it with salt and milled pepper and add the chopped parsley.
Pour that smooth sauce over the fish. Now take your boiled eggs, roughly chop them and scatter over the sauce. Add the last of the butter to a frying pan, and cook the leeks for about 5 minutes until just soft — not too much. Mix the leeks into the mashed potato — that’s a tasty side dish in itself – and now carefully spoon this over the fish.
As a finishing touch, just run a fork over the top like this to create a rough texture – and finally sprinkle over the cheese. Pop it in the oven and cook for about 20 minutes until hot and bubbly and the top is gently browned. Serve it nice and hot with some fresh greens.
That’s classic British fish pie — truly tasty, truly rewarding, winter comfort food of the Gods.