Image: David Loftus
Serves 8 sprogs or 4 grown ups
Get your little pirates to help with this one. Peeling eggs, mashing spuds, measuring and weighing is all good fun for tiny chefs. They will also think it tastes better if they have made it themselves.
For the filling:
300 g smoked haddock
300 g cod fillet
1 bay leaf
450 ml milk, or enough to just cover the fish
4 large good eggs
4 handfuls frozen peas
1 handful chopped flat leaf parsley
1 tbsp plain flour
1 tbsp butter
salt and freshly ground black pepper
for the mash:
4 largish desiree potatoes, peeled and cubed
100 g butter
wine glass of milk
Pre heat oven to 220C, 425F, Gas Mark 7.
Place the fish in your pie dish with the bay leaf and milk.
Pop it in the oven for 10 minutes, remove the fish from the milk, reserve the milk. Remove the skin from the fish and any bones. Break into large chunks. Put the eggs in a pan of water on a high heat, bring to a rolling boil.
Boil the eggs for 2 minutes, add the peas and bring back to the boil for a minute or 2. Strain and run under cold water. Peel and quarter the eggs lengthways. Put the eggs, fish and peas in the pie dish while you make the sauce and mash
For the sauce:
Melt the butter in a large saucepan on a lowish heat, stir in the flour and sizzle for a couple of minutes, it should not brown. Whisk in the milk, from the fish and bay leaf (unless it is in the bin) Let it gently bubble away for almost 15 minutes, beating with a whisk from time to time. The whisking breaks down the flour, you end up with a nice creamy sauce without the flour flavour. Stir in the parsley and season with salt, allow it cool slightly before pouring over the fish etc. Stir through carefully so the eggs and fish don’t break up.
For the mash:
Boil the potatoes in plenty of salted water for about 15 minutes or until very tender when poked with a sharp knife. Drain well and mash with the butter, milk and plenty of salt.
Cover the fish with the mash by dolloping it on in large spoonfuls all over the top, fill in the holes by smoothing out with the back of a spoon.
Bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
Serve with buttered carrots and runner beans.
Cook the fish in the roasting oven on the grid shelf of the lowest set of runners.
Bake the pie on the grid shelf on the lowest set of runners, in the roasting oven.
My ‘Mini Book of Pies’ is available from my online shop.
A selection of my Sophie Conran for Portmeirion pie dishes are also available from my online shop.