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)

brooky_agb's picture

Didn't enjoy this dish at all and neither did our polite guests. I'll stick with a more traditional recipe next time.

Alfie Barrishi's picture

Absolutely divine!! Even without the shallots and crabmeat, it was great and fed the whole family. However I did not give it 5 stars because the chilli in the mash ruined the flavour a little. Whatever you do, don't use any chilli!!!!

rebeccabrown's picture

This was so yummy and easy would love to do it again! We changed the recipe slightly though to double the amount of cream and half the amount of spinich.

gillh007's picture

Great dish,will do again. Turned out perfect. Make the day before, then pop in oven, great for guests and seems to taste better the day after too. :0)

jowalton1964's picture

Lovely recipe and very easy. I used scallops rather than crab meat and a mix of smoked haddock and cod. I strained the milk before adding to the mash which meant the flavours weren't as pronounced and following comments on here only the juice of half a lemon which was plenty. Would definitely make again.

Enanjay's picture

Delicious. Looked like a candidate for future dinner parties so cooked half quantity as a trial run. Improvised using stuff I had in fridge and freezer; namely jumbo prawns and scallops padded out with poached mushrooms and fresh asparagus. Laid fresh baby spinach leaves over the seafood without wilting and it worked fine. Found the prep a bit fiddly, but will definitely try the recipe as written with the fish and crabmeat. The appeal of this recipe for me is it can be prepared ahead so is stress free. I wasn't convinced the mash ingredients would work, but they really do. On a scale of 1 to 10 my husband gave it 12!!.

suecoffey's picture

Great dinner party dish - serves six. The spicy mash makes it special, and tastes absolutely delicious. The recipe is a little time-consuming, but can all be prepared in advance.

I forgot to cook the spinach beforehand, so I just laid it on top of the fish (not 800gm, I used half this amount). I think this was a good thing, as there is not a lot of sauce in this recipe, so the liquid from the spinach added to the sauce at the bottom of the dish.

Leaving the fish in big chunks worked well - I didn't get crabmeat, but added a fillet of undyed smoked haddock instead.

wendy1960's picture

Not sure how long to cook for a an error in the recipe. 1hr 15 or 30mins?

wendy1960's picture

Not sure how long to cook for a an error in the recipe. 1hr 15 or 30mins?

deannewaller's picture

I refer to my previous comment and I could not understand why the fish pie was so insipid. Since cooking the pie I discovered that my oven thermostat was not working properly and it has now been fixed so please disregard my previous comments.

deannewaller's picture

This is the first recipe with BBCGoodFood that I have been disappointed with - I squeezed the spinach and defrosted fish well and felt I had done everything properly but was very disappointed with thin wet sauce - the saffron mash was fine. I will never cook this recipe again!

ericathefirst's picture

I made this for my mum's birthday dinner and everyone loved it, definitely the best fish pie I've ever made and luxurious enough for any special occasion!

alexandrareah's picture

very impressive, tasty, better than i expected, i used salmon and prawns, didn't have spinach or crab, would def do again, its got a bit of a twist on your standard fish pie

embles's picture

Altered according to what we had in. No spinach, no saffron, no chilli(as had children eating), used half an onion instead of shallots.
Absolutely lovely posh fish pie for entertaining! Will deff be making again.

simonwatkiss's picture

i live in Hong Kong fresh cream is expensive and so is saffron, I use coconut cream for the cream and tumeric instead of saffron! i cannot get haddock but use salmon, crabmeat is not available only fresh crabs which are very expensive so dont use it but sometimes i use scollop meat!!!

jburton's picture

Sorry i ment both smoked and unsmoked haddock.

jburton's picture

Can anyone help please. I have both Smoked and uncooked Haddock. If i assemble the pie as instructed will the unsmoked Haddock cook or will i have to poach it first as its not smoked.

samraw's picture

Took a bit longer than the half hour prep time suggested (although most things do for me..) It was worth the effort though - the mash was lovely, the sauce was delicious and overall looked very impressive. I used a small onion instead of shallots and also added half a bulb of fennel chopped up finely which added a lovely flavour to it all. Would definitely make it again.

rparnell's picture

This was absolutely gorgeous even with a few amendments and ommissions. As I didn't have any cream I used a simple white sauce instead and also substituted the white wine for rose and the crab meat for more haddock (too lazy to wander down to the shops!!). All of that aside it was really really tasty and my wife will definately make sure I do this again :-)

georgek2's picture

Great fish pie and great idea for the mash will def make again


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