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Be inspired every day with Living North
Photography © Lara Holme
April 2017
Reading time 3 minutes
‘This was one of the dinners I most looked forward to as a child,’ says Marcus. ‘There’s something wonderfully comforting about a rich creamy fish pie on a miserable rainy day'
  • 1 [the half bit needs to go small] 1/2 onions
  • 300g white fish fillet (haddock or
  • pollack are ideal)
  • 100g undyed smoked haddock
  • 300g salmon fillet
  • 2 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves (reserve the stalks)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 500ml milk
  • 50g butter
  • 40g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp anchovy sauce (Watkins is a good brand)
  • 1[half needs to go small] 1/2 tbsp English mustard
  • 3 hard-boiled eggs, cut into quarters
  • juice of half a lemon
  • For the topping:
  • 700g floury potatoes (Maris Piper are ideal), peeled and halved
  • 80g softened butter
  • 100ml warm whole milk
  • 80g fresh white breadcrumbs (not dried)
  • 80g grated cheddar cheese

1. Preheat your oven to 180C/Gas Mark 4.

2. Slice the half onion and place in a large saucepan along with the three types of fish, the parsley stalks, and the bay leaf. Cover with the milk, bring to the boil, then remove from the heat and rest for one minute or until the fish is almost cooked.

3. Strain through a sieve, reserving the milk, and flake the fish into 3-4cm pieces. Cut the remaining onion into small dice, place in a large saucepan with the butter and cook over a low heat until soft. Add the flour and stir constantly for about one minute, before adding the warm reserved milk a little at a time, stirring continuously to avoid lumps. Cook the sauce for 3-4 minutes, stirring regularly until you can no longer taste the flour. Remove from the heat and add the Worcestershire sauce, anchovy sauce, mustard and chopped parsley.

4. Lay out the flaked fish evenly in a baking dish. Place the egg quarters among the fish. Finally, pour the sauce over the fish and eggs to cover and allow enough room for the topping. Place in the fridge to cool and set.

5. For the topping, place the potatoes in lightly salted cold water and bring to the boil. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, until well cooked, then drain and allow them to release some steam for a couple of minutes. Mash the potatoes using a masher or, even better, a potato ricer. Gently fold the warm milk and butter into the mash until smooth.

6. Spread an even layer of mash over the pie and drag the prongs of a fork across the top creating grooves, which will help to form a crust when baked. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes until hot through. Mix the breadcrumbs and grated cheese in a bowl, then sprinkle over the top of the pie. Bake for a further five minutes until the topping is golden and crispy. Finish under the grill if necessary.

Taken from 'Roast: A Very British Cookbook' by Marcus Verberne (Absolute Press), £25.00, Hardback, Photography © Lara Holme

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