“I love a fish pie, but I do realise that there are a lot of processes involved,” says Rick Stein, “although the great thing is that when you come to serving there’s nothing to do except take it out of the oven.
“I’ve made this recipe as simple as possible by not having a proper béchamel sauce or mashed potato, as you would for a traditional fish pie.”
Puff pastry topped fish pie
600ml whole milk
500g whiting, coley or pollock
300g undyed smoked haddock
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp cornflour
85g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
Splash of white wine
Large handful of parsley, chopped
150g peeled prawns, fresh or frozen and defrosted
320g ready-rolled puff pastry
Milk or egg yolk, to glaze
Salt and black pepper
1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/Fan 180°C.
2. Heat the milk in a wide pan, add the fish and poach for 3–5 minutes.
3. Take the pan off the heat, then lift the fish out with a slotted spoon, leaving the milk in the pan. When the fish is cool enough to handle, peel off any skin and gently break the flesh into large chunks. Allow the milk to cool a little.
4. In a small bowl, mix together the egg yolks and cornflour to form a paste. Gradually whisk in about a ladleful of the poaching milk. Place the pan of milk over a low heat and whisk in the egg yolk mixture, then stir over a medium heat until you have a thickened creamy sauce. Stir in the grated cheese, wine and parsley, then taste and season with salt and pepper.
5. Add the fish, sauce and prawns to an ovenproof dish, about 20 x 30cm in size, and gently combine. Top with the pastry and brush with milk or egg yolk. Slash the pastry a couple of times to allow steam to escape and bake for 25–30 minutes until the pastry is golden and risen. Serve with peas, broccoli or green leafy vegetables.
Rick Stein’s Simple Suppers (BBC Books, £28). Photography by James Murphy.