Fish pie - in four steps

Fish pie - in four steps

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(210 ratings)

Prep: 45 mins Cook: 30 mins


Serves 4
Delicious and easy - a fish pie anyone can make. You'll learn how to poach fish and make a white sauce too

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freeze without eggs only

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal824
  • fat40g
  • saturates22g
  • carbs61g
  • sugars10g
  • fibre4g
  • protein60g
  • salt3.12g
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  • 400g skinless white fish fillet
  • 400g skinless smoked haddock fillet
  • 600ml full-fat milk



    One of the most widely used ingredients, milk is often referred to as a complete food. While cow…

  • 1 small onion, quartered



    Onions are endlessly versatile and an essential ingredient in countless recipes. Native to Asia…

  • 4 cloves



    The dry, unopened flower bud of the tropical myrtle tree family used to flavour a wide variety…

  • 2 bay leaf
  • 4 egg



    The ultimate convenience food, eggs are powerhouses of nutrition, packed with protein and a…

  • small bunch parsley, leaves only, chopped



    One of the most ubiquitous herbs in British cookery, parsley is also popular in European and…

  • 100g butter



    Butter is made when lactic-acid producing bacteria are added to cream and churned to make an…

  • 50g plain flour
  • pinch freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1kg floury potato, peeled and cut into even-sized chunks



    The world's favourite root vegetable, the potato comes in innumerable varieties. A member of…

  • 50g cheddar, grated

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  1. Poach the fish. Put the fish in the frying pan and pour over 500ml of the milk. Stud each onion quarter with a clove, then add to the milk, with the bay leaves. Bring the milk just to the boil – you will see a few small bubbles. Reduce the heat and simmer for 8 mins. Lift the fish onto a plate and strain the milk into a jug to cool. Flake the fish into large pieces in the baking dish.

  2. Hard-boil the eggs. Bring a small pan of water to a gentle boil, then carefully lower the eggs in with a slotted spoon. Bring the water back to a gentle boil, with just a couple of bubbles rising to the surface. Set the timer for 8 mins, cook, then drain and cool in a bowl of cold water. Peel, slice into quarters and arrange on top of the fish, then scatter over the chopped parsley.

  3. Make the sauce. Melt half the butter in a pan, stir in the flour and cook for 1 min over moderate heat. Take off the heat, pour in a little of the cold poaching milk, then stir until blended. Continue to add the milk gradually, mixing well until you have a smooth sauce. Return to the heat, bringto the boil and cook for 5 mins, stirring continually, until it coats the back of a spoon. Remove from the heat, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg, then pour over the fish.

  4. Assemble and bake. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Boil the potatoes for 20 mins. Drain, season and mash with the remaining butter and milk. Use to top the pie, starting at the edge of the dish and working your way in – push the mash right to the edges to seal. Fluff the top with a fork, sprinkle with cheese, then bake for 30 mins. Make up to a day ahead, chill, then bake for 40 mins.

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Comments (271)

jul34es's picture

Had this for tea last night and it tasted really good and easy to make

allie80's picture

More time consuming that the recipe suggests (I think it took about an hour and a quarter rather than 45 minutes) so is fairly time consuming but the end result was worthwhile. Very tasty. I included the eggs even though I was slightly doubtful having never used them in a fish pie but they added a nice texture.

MrsG18's picture

Brilliant recipe. It was a big hit with the whole family. For me the eggs are a must and I also added 100g of frozen peas which worked well, just needed more of them so will double the amount next time.

salamisausage's picture

This is an easy-to-make classic English dish that I have made many times. However, never ever add salt to any sea food dish. It is not needed. In fact there are very few dishes that require salt. Provided you use fresh ingredients and are generous with herbs and spices, salt is irrelevant. Always ignore any recipe that advocates sea salt. This is a complete nonsense.

missbexxa's picture

Made it tonight, didn't have nutmeg and used two bags of frozen fish pie mix instead but followed the rest of the recipe. We all loved it especially the kids who loved the eggs in it, will definitely be making this more often.

lizleicester's picture

This is delicious and really easy. I used fresh smoked cod and frozen white fish fillets (probably pollack?) and substituted all the milk and butter ingredients for soya alternatives because it needed to be dairy free. The result was lovely.

georgiacurtis's picture

Great dish! Cooked it for 4 housemates - was easy and budget friendly for a student! (although cheated and used Sainsbury's ready chopped fish pie mix of fish!).

casafood74's picture

Sorry- just to mention; I only gave this recipe 4 stars as I tweaked it so felt to give it 5 would be a bit of a misrepresentation.

casafood74's picture

Well, as usual I tweaked the recipe. I know it's traditional but I'm really not keen on boiled eggs so they got left out. I removed the bay leaves but left the onions and some thinly cut carrot in the milk and then just hand blended the sauce so it was smooth but had the benefit of the extra veg in. I used scallops, salmon and prawns and didn't cook the scallops and prawns before putting them in the pie dish then covering them with the sauce as didn't want them to be overcooked. I also added a smidgen of mustard to the sauce. My daughter and neice helped me make it and I made a small, separate pie for their dinner and they loved it! They said it looked yummy and they were absolutely right- it was!

simonchampion's picture

I made this with haddock, salmon and scallops as that was what I had in the freezer! Didn't bother with the cheese but used 5 medium eggs, added 200g of sweetcorn and some French mustard to the white sauce. I thought it was delicious.

wighst's picture

This was great! I combined 800g of white fish, smoked haddock and salmon. I included the eggs in the recipe and pleased I did as it really added to the flavour.

carrow's picture

this has to be the best fish pie i have tasted, i used a bag of fish mix and added smoked cheese to the white sauce I also added peas and mushrooms. eaten and enjoyed by everyone including my 2 year who doesn`t really like fish. will be making again

last edited: 16:37, 21st Jun, 2013
stellacsg's picture

I did the salmon version and also added some peas. Tasted delicious and very easy to make. Will be making this again.

kelmoose81's picture

Made this for tea tonight and added some king prawns and garden peas, was very good and so easy to make!

suzydaniels's picture

Excellent recipe. I did make a few minor changes: I sprinkled parmesan cheese and dried dill over the fish before putting the mashed potato over the fish. I also substituted some of the potatoes for sweet potato.

lindsayloorolls's picture

Wanted to introduce more fish to our diets as we don't eat enough. My two sons are slightly fussy with fish, if they can smell it they won't eat it! Well this recipe went down a treat. I used haddock and cod, boneless and skinless and they loved it. The egg was an extra bonus and mash is always a winner, especially if cheese is included. It's an easy recipe with few ingredients. I can now serve fish and the boys even my 9 month old, look forward to it and enjoy it and want more. Job done as far as I am concerned.

wallislord's picture

This was lovely. I added leeks with the onions, cooked them together and then added to milk and fish- it was gorgeous. We used peas and corn- lovely pie. Make sure you drain the onions and fish mixture well to make sure your pie I'd not too liquids.

lesley_m's picture

Made today & split between 2 dishes. Good fish pie tho no eggs in mine & added sweet corn to it. Sauce of right consistency but needs more flavour thinking about adding whole grain mustard to sauce next time.

despinamina's picture

loved it! easy to follow steps and tasted lovely. Have never used river cobbler but thought this was a good recipe to try it out on. I used semi skimmed milk instead of full fat and I dont think it comprimised the taste at all. I think I could use slightly less potato but will be making this again!

clairemc28's picture

I too omitted the eggs as I just didn't like the sound of it with them. I added raw king prawns and used semi-skimmed milk with some double cream added. It was delicious. I followed the quantities in this recipe but as there was only two of us eating I froze the leftovers for another day.


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