Thursday, 21 May 2009

Traditional/Old Fashioned Fish Pie

 'Fish pie is a traditional British dish. This pie is usually made with white fish, for example cod, haddock or halibut. It is oven baked in a pie dish but not usually made with the shortcrust or puff pastry casings that is associated with most savoury pies (e.g. steak and kidney pie).
In place of a pastry casing enclosing the pie, a topping of mashed potatoes (sometimes with cheese or vegetables such as onions and leeks added) is used to enclose the contents during baking.'
I wanted to make a traditional Fish Pie, so I turned to the great British Chef that knows all there is to know about British Fish Recipes-Rick Stein.

I decided to use his recipe because, not having made one before, I wanted the liquor-fish sauce- to taste authentic. It certainly did!

His recipe is the old-fashioned one.
Some people make it with smoked haddock or cod only, other people with seafood, some with white fish only. I wanted a bit of everything.

Some people also add spinach to the mix which gives it excellent texture!

I topped the potato mash with some smoked cheddar to complement the smokiness of the Cod and it was yummy!


1 small Onions, thickly sliced
2 Cloves
1 Bay leaves
600ml Milk
300ml double cream
450g unskinned cod fillets
225g undyed smoked cod fillets
4 Eggs
100g Butter
45g plain flour
5 tbsp chopped flat leaf Parsley,
pinch freshly grated Nutmeg
1.25kg peeled floury potatoes, such as King Edwards or Maris Piper
1 egg yolk,
sea salt and freshly ground freshly ground white pepper,
Some King size prawns


Stud a couple of the onion slices with the cloves. Put the onion slices in a large pan with the bay leaf, 450ml of the milk, the cream, cod, smoked cod and king Prawns. Bring just to the boil and simmer for 8 minutes. Lift the fish out on to a plate and strain the cooking liquor into a jug. When the fish is cool enough to handle, break it into large flakes, discarding the skin and bones. Sprinkle it over the base of a shallow 1.75 litre (3 pint) ovenproof dish.

Hard-boil the eggs for just 8 minutes, then drain and leave to cool. Peel and cut them into chunky slices and arrange on top of the fish.

Melt 50 g of the butter in a pan, add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Take the pan off the heat and gradually stir in the reserved cooking liquor. Return it to the heat and bring slowly to the boil, stirring all the time. Leave it to simmer gently for 10 minutes to cook out the flour. Remove from the heat once more, stir in the parsley and season with nutmeg, salt and white pepper. Pour the sauce over the fish and leave to cool. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

Boil the potatoes for 15-20 minutes. Drain, mash and add the rest of the butter and the egg yolk. Season with salt and freshly ground white pepper. Beat in enough of the remaining milk to form a soft, spreadable mash.

Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Spoon the potato over the filling and mark the surface with a fork. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until piping hot and golden brown.


  1. i had a fabulous seafood pie when I was in Dublin, yours looks wonderful - I'd love to make one like that! Yum!

  2. You might have just tempted me to give fish pie another try. :)

  3. I had the pleasure of having a meal prepared by Rick Stein while attending a lecture by his brother. It was a wonderful experience, one I will not soon forget. I got his cookbook (I am sure he has many) and have had fun trying his various dishes, this sounds spectacular and I love the combination of flavors. I cannot wait to try.

  4. You lucky, lucky thing! :)
    I could live on Fish and vegetables alone albeit for the odd craving for red meat, so Rick Stein is pretty much an A-Lister in our household! He's also a great fan of good British fish recipes which makes him all the more special to me! Hope you give it a try and enjoy!