Royal fish pie

Alan Barrins

Alan Barrins

18th March 2015

Royal fish pie

Royal fish pie - serves 4


  • 1kg fish fillets, including salmon, smoked haddock and white fish such as Pollack and haddock (the smoked haddock trimmings will be used in the sauce)
  • 1.5kg floury potatoes
  • 2 egg yolks
  • Sauce:
  • 100g butter, plus a little extra for sweating vegetables
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • A sprig of thyme
  • 150ml white wine
  • Smoked haddock trimmings
  • 2 litres milk
  • 100g plain flour
  • 1 tablespoon English mustard
  • Handful of chopped chives and parsley
  • Salt and Pepper
  • To finish:
  • A little lemon juice
  • A little green Tabasco sauce
  • A handful of fresh breadcrumbs
  • A little grated Parmesan


Remove the skin from the fish and cut in to bite-sized pieces, reserving the skin of the smoked haddock for the sauce.

To start the sauce, heat a little butter in a saucepan, add onion, garlic and thyme and sweat until softened.

Add the white wine and the smoked haddock trimmings and cook for a few minutes to burn off the alcohol.

Add the milk and bring to just under the boil, then take the pan from the heat, pass the contents through a sieve into a bowl and keep hot.

Melt the 100g butter in a heavy saucepan, add the flour and cook over a low heat, stirring well, for 5 minutes.

Pour the hot infused milk into the pan and whisk vigorously until the mixture is smooth and thick.

Taste to make sure you can’t taste the flour.

If you can, cook gently for a little longer.

Whisk in the mustard and add the chives and parsley. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper an more mustard if you wish.

Leave to cool down while you make the mash – it is best not to assemble the pie with hot sauce as it will cook the fish too quickly.

Preheat the oven to 180degreesC/Gas4.

Peel the potatoes and cook in boiling salted water until tender.

Drain in a colander and allow the potatoes to steam for a couple of minutes to rid them of excess moisture, then mash and season with salt and pepper.

Add the egg yolks.

Scoop the mash into a piping bag – it needs to be hot in order to pipe easily.

If you prefer not to pipe, the mash can be spooned on carefully, then plough lines across it with the prongs of a fork.

To assemble, spoon a little of the sauce into the bottom of each of the pie dishes.

Arrange a selection of fish on top of the sauce. Season with salt and pepper, a squeeze of lemon juice and a few drops of green Tabasco.

Completely cover with sauce, then pipe or spoon on the mash.

Mix together the breadcrumbs and Parmesan and sprinkle evenly over the pies.

Place the pie dishes on a baking sheet and cook in the oven for around 20 minutes until the top is golden brown and the centre of each pie is good and hot.

Serve immediately