Fish pie with saffron mash

Fish pie with saffron mash

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(37 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 shallots, 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 cloves
  • 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, questions and tips

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7th Dec, 2011
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.
12th Nov, 2011
Not sure how long to cook for a an error in the recipe. 1hr 15 or 30mins?
12th Nov, 2011
Not sure how long to cook for a an error in the recipe. 1hr 15 or 30mins?
17th Dec, 2016
maybe they got the cooking time and prep time the wrong way round - as others have said, it does quite quite a long time to prepare.
17th Oct, 2011
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.
8th Sep, 2011
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!
19th Jul, 2011
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!
7th Jan, 2011
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
20th Nov, 2010
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.
24th Oct, 2010
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!!!


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