Decadent four fish pie with tarragon cream and buttery mashed potatoes
Fish pie is definitely a classic British dish; it can be made many ways and sometimes can be rather plain and boring. My version uses a sauce made with real cream (rather than conventional flour and milk) and a touch of tarragon to give it a unique flavour, the combination of different types of fish add different textures and flavours along with the addition of leeks which add a wonderful earthy flavour to the dish. Topped with buttery mashed potatoes and baked in the oven with parmesan cheese until golden brown, definitely a real treat!
Yield (serves): 6
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 1 hour
For the filling
8 ounces (225 g) Salmon (prepared)
8 ounces (225 g) Cod (prepared)
8 ounces (225 g) Smoked Haddock (prepared)
8 ounces (225 g) Monkfish tail (prepared)
¾ stick (80 g) Butter
¾ cup (80 g) Plain flour
¾ cup (200 ml) Chicken stock
1 ¾ cups (400 ml) heavy/double cream
Lemon zest and juice from one lemon
1 teaspoon fresh tarragon (chopped)
2 large Leeks
2 tablespoon olive oil
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the topping
2 ½ pounds (1.2 kilo) potatoes (russet or maris piper preferred)
1 ½ sticks (170 g) unsalted butter
½ cup (50 g) Parmesan cheese (Grated)
¾ cup (200 ml) heavy/double cream
Seasoning to taste
1. Take the fish and remove any scales, bones or skin that the fishmonger may have left on. Cut the fish into even 1 1/2 inch (4 cm) cubes and distribute evenly in the bottom of 6 by 8 inch rectangle baking dish.
2. Wash and slice the leeks into 1/3 inch (1 cm) rounds and gently sauté in olive oil over a medium heat for approximately 5 minutes until just cooked, season well and set to one side.
3. To make the sauce melt the butter in a pan and add the flour.
4. Stir until the mixture forms a smooth paste which leaves the sides and base of pan cleanly.
5. Cook for a minimum of 2 minutes to cook out the taste of the flour.
6. Pour in half a cup (120 ml) of chicken stock and allow to boil without stirring.
7. Stir until the mixture blends smoothly and beat vigorously, and repeat this process with the remainder of the stock and cream, beating well after each addition to avoid getting any lumps.
8. Once the sauce had reached a thick smooth consistency, remove from the heat and season well. Add the lemon zest and juice, chopped tarragon and cooked leeks and mix well.
9. Pour the sauce over the uncooked fish and leave to cool.
10. Peel and boil the potatoes in salted water for 10 to 15 minutes until tender, drain and then mash well.
11. season well and add the cream, grated Parmesan cheese and diced butter and mix well until the mashed potatoes are smooth and creamy
12. Gently spoon the mashed potatoes over the sauce and use the edge of a palette knife to make a dented pattern in the mashed potato by dragging it along in lines and pushing down every few centimeters.
13. Brush with melted butter and bake at 170°c/325F for 40 minutes until the potato is golden brown and crispy.
14. Serve the fish pie with steamed green beans.
To make individual fish pies divide the fish, sauce and mashed potato between six individual baking dishes and cook for 30 minutes
Try experimenting with different types of meaty fish such as Pollock, sword fish and halibut
Old World: Maccon,Burgundy (Pinot Noir) Chinon Cabernet Franc.
New World: Chardonnay, Chardonnay California, Pinot Noir Reserva,