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Fish Pie

Rich and creamy fish pie with a crisp topping of fluffy mash.


Flavourful fillets of smoked and unsmoked fish in a creamy sauce and topped with a thick blanket of fluffy mashed potatoes and turnip. I like to add some shredded white cheddar on top of the mash to form a crisp, golden topping that is so satisfying to break through to the deep yummy layers below.


I chose to use smoked salmon and unsmoked cod; however, those could easily be reversed if a smoked cod is preferred. Other fish that work well are tuna, trout, perch, tilapia, or try using shrimp.


I once had a fish pie with a layer of boiled egg between the fish and the potato, but anything can be added to this dish. Depending on the time of year, add some squash in the autumn and winter, zucchini or eggplant in the summer.

 

Ingredients

(Makes 8 servings)


mashed potatoes:

  • 6 medium white potatoes, peeled and cubed

  • 2 turnips, peeled and cubed

  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

  • 2 tablespoons plant-based butter

  • 1/2 cup whole milk

  • 1 cup white cheddar, shredded

fish:

  • 3 cups whole milk

  • 1 large sweet onion, quartered

  • 4 cloves

  • 4 whole allspice

  • 2 bay leaves

  • 12oz smoked salmon fillet

  • 12oz cod fillet

filling:

  • 1/4 cup fish broth

  • 1 sweet onion, finely minced

  • 2 stalks celery, finely minced

  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and finely minced

  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

  • 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon, finely chopped

  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, finely chopped

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground paprika

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger

  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt

  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 2 tablespoons cornstarch

  • 1 cup frozen sweet green peas, thawed

 

Directions

In a pot over medium-high heat, add the cubed potatoes, turnip, and salt then fill with water to cover. Bring to a light boil, partially cover and cook for 30 minutes, or until the potato and turnip are easily pierced with a sharp knife. While the potatoes boil, carry on with the rest of the recipe.


In a deep sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the milk. While the milk starts to steam, press 1 clove into the backs of each onion quarter and place into the pan. Add the allspice and bay leaves. As the milk approaches a simmer, place the fillets, skin-side up into the pan. When the milk starts to simmer again, reduce the temperature to medium. Poach fish for 7 or 8 minutes, then using a slotted spoon, transfer the fish to a plate skin-side down. Remove the milk from the heat and set aside leaving the onion and spices.


Using two forks, gently flake the fish. Transfer the flaked fillets to a casserole dish and set aside.


Preheat oven to 350°F / 180°C.


In a different sauté pan over medium-high heat, add the fish broth and bring to a boil before adding the minced onion, celery, and carrot. Sauté for 7 or 8 minutes until the onion mixture softens. Add the minced garlic and sauté an additional minute before adding the tarragon, parsley, paprika, ginger, sea salt, and ground black pepper. Mix well. Add in the cornstarch and mix well.


Remove and discard the onion, cloves, allspice and bay leaves from the milk then add in about 1/2 cup to the sauté pan with the vegetable mixture. Combine well, then add an additional 1/2 cup of milk. Again, mix well. As the milk in the pan heats up it will start to thicken. Continue stirring in a bit of milk at a time until entirely incorporated. The sauce should be the consistency of a light gravy. If it is too thin, whisk in a little more cornstarch and bring up to a simmer. Add the frozen peas and mix well. Transfer the milk mixture to the casserole dish and gently mix it in with the flaked fish, trying not to mash the fish in the process.


Once the potatoes and turnips are tender, turn off the heat and drain the remaining water from the pot. Replace the pot on the still-hot element and stream off any remaining water, agitating the pot actively to stop the potatoes from sticking to the bottom. Remove the pot from the hot element and, using a potato masher, begin mashing the potatoes and turnip. Add the butter and combine well, then add the milk and again mash until the mixture is smooth.


Add the mashed potato as an even layer on top of the fish mixture in the casserole dish, making sure the top is wavy and uneven. Sprinkle over the shredded cheddar and bake for 30 to 40 minutes or until the top is a dark golden brown.


Serve and enjoy.