The latest stories, straight to your inbox

The latest stories, straight to your inbox

Be inspired every day with Living North

Subscribe today and get every issue delivered direct to your door
Subscribe Now
Be inspired every day with Living North

Doddington Dairy's Fish Pie with Flat-Leaf Parsley and Sorrel

Doddington Dairy’s Fish Pie with Flat-Leaf Parsley and Sorrel
June 2023
Reading time 2 Minutes

This recipe is a celebration of the two border regions, based on Maggie's Doddington cheese from Northumberland and local Eyemouth fish from across the Scottish border in Berwickshire, though you can use any white fish (haddock, cod or pollack) here

It is best served piping hot with fresh greens.

The region where Maggie and her family live and work – where the North East of England meets the Scottish Borders – is absolutely stunning. I hadn’t visited the area before meeting Maggie, and I can safely say that I’ll be visiting it again very soon. The journey through the Northumberland National Park was a memorable one, and one that I can imagine is best taken at a leisurely pace in a soft-top classic car or on a café racer, clipping the apexes on every juicy turn – when it’s safe to do so, of course!

The landscape is beautifully varied, and in July, when I visited, it was festooned in the creams and purples of meadowsweet, oxeye daisy, rosebay willowherb and valerian. Travelling through the borderlands, you can just sense that the area is steeped in history, from bygone battles such as the Siege of Berwick or the Battle of Otterburn to the infamous reivers, the armed raiders who frequently crossed the border on either side to steal horses, sheep and cattle. Charming places to visit in the area are Wooler and Berwick-upon-Tweed in Northumberland, and Kelso and St Boswells in Scotland.

  • For the topping
  • 400g peeled floury potatoes, cut into chunks
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • 15g butter
  • 140ml whole milk
  • 160g Doddington, grated
  • 1 egg yolk
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • For the filling
  • 75g butter
  • 2 medium shallots, peeled and finely diced
  • 300g skinless white fish fillet (haddock, cod or pollack), cut into 2.5cm pieces
  • 100g shelled mussels
  • 100g shelled prawns
  • 50ml white wine
  • 60g plain flour
  • 300ml whole milk
  • handful of fresh flat-leaf parsley and sorrel (or just parsley), finely chopped

Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.

For the topping, place the potatoes in a saucepan, cover with cold water and add one teaspoon of salt, then bring to the boil and cook for about 10 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Drain the potatoes and leave to cool in a colander until the steam has evaporated.

While the potatoes are cooling, start making the filling. In a large frying pan over a medium heat, melt 15g of the butter and fry the shallots for six to seven minutes until translucent and soft. Then add the fish, mussels and prawns, followed by the white wine. Simmer for about five minutes until the fish is cooked through and the white wine has reduced a little, then remove from the heat and set aside.

In a separate saucepan over a medium heat, melt the remaining 60g of butter and add the flour, whisking constantly to make a roux. Once all the flour has been added, continue to whisk as you gradually add the milk, stirring it in completely each time to prevent lumps from forming. Keep whisking until the sauce thickens, and then add one teaspoon of salt, a few grinds of pepper and the herbs. Add the fish mixture to the white sauce, stirring it in carefully in order not to break up the fish. Place in a small, deep-sided ovenproof dish, and set aside while you finish making the topping.

Return the potatoes to the first saucepan and mash until smooth. Beat in the butter and milk until the potato becomes smooth again, then add the grated cheese, followed by the egg yolk. Beat for another minute or two until the potato is smooth and glossy.

Spoon the mashed potato over the fish mixture, spreading it out in an even layer and running a fork over the top to create crispy ridges when cooked, then place in the oven to bake for 30–40 minutes and serve immediately.

A Portrait of British Cheese (Quadrille, £27) Photography ©Angus D. Birditt.

Buy here

This article contains affiliate links. We may receive a commission for products that are clicked on through our website.

This website uses cookies to ensure you get the best experience on our website.

Please read our Cookie policy.