Fish pie in a large rectangular dish with serving spoon

Fish pie - in four steps

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(245 ratings)

Prep: 45 mins Cook: 30 mins

Easy

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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Ingredients

  • 400g skinless white fish fillet
  • 400g skinless smoked haddock fillet
  • 600ml full-fat milk

    Milk

    mill-k

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

  • 1 small onion, quartered
    Onion

    Onion

    un-yun

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

  • 4 cloves
    Cloves

    Clove

    klo-ve

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

  • 2 bay leaves
  • 4 eggs
    Eggs

    Egg

    egg

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

  • small bunch parsley, leaves only, chopped
    Parsley

    Parsley

    par-slee

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

  • 100g butter
    Butter

    Butter

    butt-err

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

  • 50g plain flour
  • pinch freshly grated nutmeg
    Nutmeg

    Nutmeg

    nut-meg

    One of the most useful of spices for both sweet and savoury

  • 1kg floury potato, peeled and cut into even-sized chunks
    Potato

    Potato

    po-tate-oh

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

  • 50g cheddar, grated
    Cheddar

    Cheddar

    Ched-ah

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

Method

  1. Poach 400g skinless white fish fillets and 400g skinless smoked haddock fillets. Put the fish in the frying pan and pour over 500ml of the full-fat milk. Quarter 1 small onion and stud each quarter with a clove, then add to the milk, with 2 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 4 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 leaves of a small bunch of parsley.

  3. Make the sauce. Melt 50g butter in a pan, stir in 50g plain 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, bring to 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 a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg, then pour over the fish.

  4. Assemble and bake. Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Boil 1kg floury potatoes, cut into even-sized chunks, for 20 mins. Drain, season and mash with the remaining 50g butter and 100ml full-fat 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 over 50g grated cheddar, then bake for 30 mins. Make up to a day ahead, chill, then bake for 40 mins.

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Comments, questions and tips

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katycooks's picture
katycooks
10th Sep, 2018
3.05
Well I made this way back in 2011 and commented on it with 4 stars then. This time the flavour just wasn't there. I followed the recipe faithfully both times, but on this occasion I used a fish pie pack from Sainsburys. The amount of smoked fish in this pack was, I think, just not enough. (Only a third of the fish pack was smoked.) Lesson learned! As is so often the case, the quality of the ingredients is key to a successful outcome.
Tom Patton's picture
Tom Patton
7th Sep, 2018
5.05
yummy
misspink4
24th Aug, 2018
5.05
Great recipe, I didn’t add the egg, parsley or cloves (as I forgot to buy them) but it still came out tasty! Next time I would add the cloves and parsley for extra flavour. This served 4 and 1 next day for lunch and it had more flavour the next day.
Mojopearl
1st Nov, 2017
5.05
This is a a fabulous pie. I've made it several times but I always adapt it. It does however take longer than 40 mins to prepare. I also tend not to make the butter sauce but instead make a sauce using cornflower as its base. I pot in a pepper and mushrooms and garlic into the pie. I've make this pie about twice a year.
amateurcook89
21st Aug, 2017
4 cloves of what? Garlic?
davect's picture
davect
25th Sep, 2017
Clove.
TeaTimeWithLucy
28th Jul, 2017
5.05
Really tasty meal - hadn't realised there are so many calories in just 1 portion however! Will definitely make again but substitute for semi-skimmed milk and less butter etc as others have suggested. I thought the eggs were a strange addition and if I make again I will probably leave them out - just as yummy without! The sauce would be bland without using the drained off milk from poaching the fish. I added a small nob of garlic butter to the sauce for extra flavour (it came with the smoked haddock so seemed a shame to waste it!) These ingredients made a huge portion - could probably stretch to serving 6 (although we did just have 4 large portions because it was so good!). Me and my partner had this over 2 evenings. I prepped it and cooked it on the same day and we ate half, then refrigerated the rest and had this the next day. Cooked for 30mins the first time and 40 the next because the mash had gone hard in the fridge it needed longer to heat through the second time. I used cod loin and smoked haddock fillets. Left out the parsley and the bay leaves but included everything else.
lizleicester
1st May, 2017
5.05
Tried making this with unsweetened almond milk and soya margerine so that it was dairy free and the result was delicious (in fact you couldn't tell it had milk substitutes with all the lovely fish flavours).
virobinson
26th Mar, 2017
5.05
Beautiful pie. Added fresh dill and parsley to the sauce and half teaspoon mustard powder. Didn't bother with the cheese. For fish used cod, smoked haddock, lightly smoked salmon fillets and prawns. Definitely enough for 6 big portions.
vipgirl1
24th Feb, 2017
4.05
Made this last week me and hubby loved it!!! Will add more veg in next time as others have mentioned. But so tasty!! Xxxxx

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TeaTimeWithLucy
28th Jul, 2017
5.05
has anyone ever served anything alongside this pie? If so what was it
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
31st Jul, 2017
Peas, sweetcorn, French beans or broccoli all go really well with fish pie - enjoy!
TeaTimeWithLucy
28th Jul, 2017
5.05
Any tips for lump-free mash?
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
31st Jul, 2017
Putting the potato through a ricer or mouli grater produces really smooth mash. Make sure you cook the potatoes sufficiently too as undercooked bits of potato will always be hard to mash. Hope that helps.
Raisin and Dates
17th Oct, 2016
hi there, made this a few times and it is delicious... making it again today and like to read the reviews, but noticed that a lot of them are repeats of the same ppl which is a bit annoying as it ups the reviews ????
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
31st Oct, 2016
Thanks for your comment and we're happy to hear you've been enjoying the recipe. Sometimes people leave more than one comment or they comment, realise they've forgotten to rate and so do this separately. Is this what you mean? If not, let us know if there's something we haven't spotted and we'll take a look. Thanks! 
Pennyred
22nd Nov, 2015
At what point do you add the parsley - and do you remove the onion completely after poaching the fish or does it go into the pie filling?
goodfoodteam's picture
goodfoodteam
10th Dec, 2015
The onion is for flavouring and doesn't get used in the pie. The parsley can be added to the sauce after flavouring it with the nutmeg.
Invermarnoch
8th Oct, 2014
I do understand why salamisausage advises against using salt. And I agree that when making a fish pie using cheese and smoked haddock (which is soaked in brine before smoking) there is no need to add salt, which is a recognised contributor to hypertension. In this connection I am given to understand that bananas provide a potassium ion which will displace the more harmful sodium ion in the body. Do the nutritionists agree, please? For my own part, I think it essential to add salt when cooking shellfish like prawns, scampi, shrimps or lobster. These are usually cooked in water, and this process extracts through osmosis the naturally-occurring salt in their bodies. IMHO, to preserve the original flavour, the addition of salt to the cooking medium is essential. I believe the same to be true of migratory fish such as salmon, sea-trout, eels (now protected!), lampreys and shad which alter their cell structure upon entering fresh water from the sea. But it would be very informative to hear from a nutritionist or other scientist in this regard. But to return to the point, especially when making fish pie for children or the elderly, be very careful about the salt occurring in cheese and smoked fish, and certainly do not add any. A little smoked fish goes a very long way. I like to add mustard and anchovy essence to fish pie. They too contain some salt, so I am going to experiment with soaking smoked fish in water before use, and see what the outcome might be. Cooking is always about experimentation and putting one's own stamp on a conventional dish, IMHO.
Mojopearl
1st Nov, 2017
5.05
You could use salmon instead of smoked haddock. Much healthier.

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