Fish pie - in four steps

Fish pie - in four steps

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(217 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



    Once cheddar was 'Cheddar', a large, hard-pressed barrel of cheese made by a particular…


  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 (277)

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.

jeanius's picture

I made this exactly as the recipe, including the eggs (this is traditional). My only tip would be to buy your fish skinless or get your fishmonger to do this for you. Getting the skin off the fish was the most time consuming part of this recipe. Delicious, easy and can be prepared in advance.

p33gl3t's picture

I like it with the eggs though.

djryry15's picture

Great recipe. I love it! Don't put eggs in though.

djryry15's picture

Great recipe. I love it! Don't put eggs in though. :-/

p33gl3t's picture

This is a super excellent recipe! I made this last night and 2 of my friends who have not eaten fish pie before, loved it! Furthermore, I can't believe that I actually made a fish pie!!!

pickersgill3's picture

Made this pie today and although say it myself, it was perfect! Noticed that a lot of people left out the eggs. I feel they added flavour to the dish. Will defiantly do it again.

simonchampion's picture

Loving the defiance ;-)

arterialclamp's picture

To me it seems strange to put boiled eggs in a fish pie so I leave them out. I had a little bit of smoked salmon in the fridge so I added that and it gave a lovely extra hit of flavour :)

simonchampion's picture

The eggs make it, you don't know what you're missing!

salyane72's picture

An all round favourite - even requested as valentine dinner :)

caseysk010605's picture

I was looking for a good fish pie recipe and came across this one. I used a variation of white Basa fillets, smoked Basa fillets, one Salmon fillet, and some king prawns. It worked beautifully! I ran out of whole milk (had about 400ml) so used about 150ml of fresh double cream. The result was incredible! So rich and creamy. I even used some double cream in my mash and mixed the cheddar topping with 1/3 Applewood Smoked cheddar cheese. I'll be using this recipe again - soon!!

october84's picture

I have made this countless times and always works out fantastic. I've never added the bay leaves, and always add most of the onion (without the cloves) to the pie. Never used the parsley either! I usually buy one of the 500g fish pie mixes (frozen or fresh) then add a whole bag of prawns. My partner hates his mums fish pie but loves mine and is always asking me to make it!

simonchampion's picture

I really like the bay leaf infusion and I think it adds great flavour to the white sauce so I'd encourage you to give it a try at least once.

lindsaysharman's picture

I've made this countless times for various occasions including a Thanksgiving dinner party and a Christmas meal with family, as well as for my partner and myself. It's one of my absolute favourites, great fun to cook, and always a huge hit with the people I make it for - "a crowd pleaser" according to one of my friends! I always use sweetcorn and frozen peas, and add extra bay leaves to the sauce for more flavour. Definitely leave the eggs in - absolutely amazing.


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