Fish pie with saffron mash

Fish pie with saffron mash

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(36 ratings)

Prep: 30 mins Cook: 1 hr, 15 mins

More effort

Serves 6
A great dinner party dish. This can be made ahead and frozen so there's always something ready to entertain guests

Nutrition and extra info

  • Freezable

Nutrition: per serving

  • kcal683
  • fat35g
  • saturates15g
  • carbs42g
  • sugars7g
  • fibre6g
  • protein51g
  • salt1.36g
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  • 3 shallot, finely chopped



    Related to the onion (as opposed to being a younger version of it), shallots grow in clusters at…

  • 3 tbsp white wine vinegar
  • 150ml white wine
  • 142ml pot double cream
  • 900g fresh haddock fillets, skinned



    A white-fleshed salt water fish often compared with cod in flavour and texture. Found on the…

  • 200g bag raw, peeled prawn, preferably unfrozen



    There are thousands of different species of prawn, but tiger, king and North Atlantic are the…

  • 800g fresh spinach (about 2 bags)



    Used in almost every cuisine across the world, spinach is an enormously popular green vegetable…

  • 200g crabmeat

For the topping

  • 3 garlic clove
  • 1 red chilli, halved and deseeded
  • 200ml full-fat milk



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

  • pinch saffron strands



    The stigma of a type of crocus, saffron threads have a pungent and distinctive aroma and flavour…

  • 1¼kg potato, cut into large chunks



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

  • 4 tbsp olive oil
    olive oil

    Olive oil

    ol-iv oyl

    Probably the most widely-used oil in cooking, olive oil is pressed from fresh olives. It's…

  • zest and juice 1 lemon



    Oval in shape, with a pronouced bulge on one end, lemons are one of the most versatile fruits…


  1. Tip the shallots and vinegar into a saucepan and place on the heat so the vinegar evaporates quickly. Splash in the white wine and reduce until practically dry. Add cream, bring to the boil, then simmer gently until reduced by two-thirds and very thick. Leave to cool. Cut the fish into bite-size chunks and set aside with the prawns.

  2. Tip spinach into a large colander and pour over boiling water from a kettle until all the spinach is wilted (you may need to do this more than once). Cool under the cold tap, then squeeze the spinach tightly to get rid of any excess liquid.

  3. To make the topping, mash the saffron, garlic and chilli together using a pestle and mortar. Tip into a saucepan with the milk, bring to the boil, then remove from the heat to infuse. Bring the potatoes to the boil and simmer for 15 mins until soft. Drain, then mash well with the infused milk, olive oil, lemon juice and zest.

  4. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. To assemble the pie, mix the fish and prawns into the cold cream until completely coated. Tip the fish into the bottom of a large gratin dish and scatter over clumps of crabmeat. Unravel the spinach and lay it over the fish, then top with the mash. Cook the pie for about 30 mins until golden and starting to brown and bubble around the edges. Serve with green veg if you like.

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Comments (42)

pshopper's picture

Fish pie is not my most favourite main course, but thought I would have a go at this because it sounded a bit more interesting and couldn't think what to cook for a supper party.
I did use fresh spinach, but next time I will use frozen as it is less hassle and just cuts down on the time preperation.
I used all the lemon zest but only half the juice on the recommendation of other comments and it turned out fine. I piped the mash potato onto the top which made it look a little bit more special but to hardly any effort at all and added grated parmesan on the top. Everyone Loved it.

delaineg3's picture

this is the best fish pie ever its easy to do and tastes just perfect take your time and make it just the way it says lush !

chezg184's picture

i made this lastnight and was not impressed.
tip: dont put in as much lemon as it says too as its too overpowering.

hoggy64's picture

As a relative beginner to cooking found this relatively easy to make. Totally amazed at how well it turned out (but not as much as my partner, she was very impressed!!). Tasted fantastic, only suggestion as made before, go easy on the lemon and make sure you squeeze the spinach out thoroughly.

losbelones's picture

Having read all the wonderful reviews for this dish I was very disappointed. I too followed the instructions carefully, patted dry the fish and squeezed out the spinach and yet the sauce was very liquid. I must have done something wrong but what was it?

siaimaiava's picture

Tasted fine except it came out rather wet (is it suppose to?). I squeezed out the excess liquid from the spinach, prawns were fully defrosted, the fish pat dry, the cream just coated the fish and prawns... Basically did everything to ensure a creamy rather than soggy wet pie. Did anyone else have the same problem?

vivienspiteri's picture

Made this for our monthly Club Lunch and as was not sure if some people might be allergic to crab substituted cubes of salmon trout instead and added a little salt to both the sauce and the mash. Went down a bomb and many more people will be cooking this recipe.

vjandjb's picture

Made this several times, always a hit, have made it with and without spinach both good. I'm sure I will cook this many more times. Great dinner party food

redaurigny's picture

As usual I made double portions - one for the freezer and one for now. Fresh prawns can be hard to find unless they are catch of the day if, like me, you live out in the sticks. It worked very well despite no crab. I think I would opt for less garlic and lemon and definately less chilli, in the mash, but otherwise it worked an absolute treat. Will definately make it again. As always, clear freezing instructions are always very welcome.

clovelly1's picture

This was absolutely delicious! I've never thought there was any reason to pre-cook fish when making fish pie. It cooks perfectly in the luscious sauce. I bought pre-washed bags of baby spinach and zapped them in microwave and then just squeezed out excess water. The lemon adds a fabulous zing to the spicy potato topping. The beauty is it can all be prepared in advance. Very impressive for a dinner party.

sara_tina's picture

This recipe was taken from the Dec O7 issue. The quantity of potatoes is listed in here and it is 1.25Kg/2lb 12oz

chedges's picture

It was nice but not fishy enough for me. Also I love garlic but would say use less garlic and lemon for the saffron mash.

sammyboy's picture

I added scallops instead of crab and the f inished result was excellent. However personally I felt that the saffron mash overpowered the creamy fish and spinach. Next time I will just put creamed mash on the top. Nevertheless everyone enjoyed it !!

louisanoelle's picture

Absolutely delicious. Really tasty and not as rich as I thought it would be, the mash was fantastic, would definitely make it again.

dawnhill's picture

made this for good friday supper party, rthought it was excellent although v fiddly, live is too short to wilt four colanders full of spinach with kettle being boiled half a dozen times!! also added smoked haddock which really enhanced the dish, would make it again and again though everyone was v impressed. no weight measure for potato though so guessed luckily i wasnt far off!!

marikajones's picture

Wonderful, flavoursome meal. Infact we were fighting over the prawns.
The lemon in the mash adds a wonderful zing, with the heat and spice of the chilli.
Makes a fantastic supper when you have friends round.

alfielewis's picture

I did a sort of mix between this recipe and the cornish fish pie on this site by olive magazine, so it had cos, haddock, prawns, leeks and parsley. No spinach.

Oh I also toped with Parmesan. Anyway, we loved it, especially Barney's posh mash topping

nessykins's picture

I made this just before Christmas for my Dad who is a very fussy eater but he absolutely loved it. I couldn't get any crabmeat so substituted with extra prawns. I'm definitely going to make this dish again. Yummy!

sweetlove's picture

Made this for Christmas Eve and enjoyed it so much will make again for a dinner party

e_leachums's picture

I made the mash to accompany something else and it was delicious!!! I will have to try it on the fish pie next time.


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