Fish, prawn and potato pie

Jill Dupleix
Real winter warmer: Creamy fish and potato-topped pie.
Real winter warmer: Creamy fish and potato-topped pie. Photo: William Meppem

The colder months are when fish is at its best, and when it's best for us. It just needs winter-ising to be as motivating as a steamy pot pie topped with crusty potato. Hang on… let's just do that to fish, instead of meat. This classic winter fish pie could be your new winter tradition; all rich, creamy sauce, below its 'choppy sea crust of garlicky mash.

Ingredients

400g white fish (ling, blue eye, snapper)
400g ocean trout, skinned
8 medium or 4 large prawns, peeled
2 tbsp finely chopped parsley
2 tbsp finely snipped chives
50g finely grated parmesan or cheddar
1 tbsp fresh or dry breadcrumbs

For the sauce
2 tbsp butter
2 tbsp plain flour
300ml milk
200ml vegetable or fish stock
1 tbsp dijon mustard
100ml cream or creme fraiche
half tsp paprika
pinch of cayenne
sea salt and pepper

For the potato topping
800g desiree potatoes, peeled and roughly chopped
2 garlic cloves, sliced
1 tbsp butter
2 tbsp milk
1 tbsp grated parmesan
sea salt and pepper

Method

1. To make the topping, cook the potatoes and garlic in simmering salted water for 20 minutes until tender. Drain the potatoes well and mash with butter, milk, parmesan, sea salt and pepper.

2. To make the sauce, melt the butter in a pan, add the flour and stir well with a wooden spoon over low heat for one minute, without allowing to brown. Slowly add the milk, stirring constantly, then the stock and simmer for five minutes. Add mustard, cream, paprika, cayenne, sea salt and pepper and simmer for one minute.

3. Heat the oven to 220C. Chop the fish and prawns into bite-sized chunks. Gently fold the fish and prawns into the sauce with the parsley and chives. Simmer for three minutes, then transfer to a large, buttered oven-proof gratin dish. 

4. Cover the top with tablespoonfuls of mash, scatter with cheese and breadcrumbs, place on a tray and bake for 25 minutes or until golden and bubbling.

Serve with a buttery braise of peas, leeks and bacon for extra warmth.