– Fish on Friday –
Old-Fashioned Fish Pie with Cheesy Mash
It’s FRIDAY and that can only mean one thing, FISH! And, as it is British Pie Week, I decided to treat us all to a comforting old-fashioned style fish pie……with a cheesy mashed potato topping, just like mum’s. As a fish fanatic, I recently received a box of fish from Delish Fish as part of Fish is the Dish’s Fish Fanatic programme, and as part of my fishy haul I was delighted to see that I was sent some lovely wild Saithe fillets aka Coley. Coley, now there is an intriguing fish, it has more names than an international jewel thief! Known as Coley, Saithe or Coalfish, it also has aliases of Sillock, Pitlock, Cuithe and Harben, the latter four names being specialised to the Shetland Isles and the Orkneys.
This tasty fish is a member of the cod family and has a greyish, pinky brown tinge to the flesh. It has a firm but flaky texture and is a wonderfully versatile fish, which is great in pies, fish cakes as well as being fabulous when fried. I happen to know that it is a very popular fish in France, and when I am in France, I VERY often see lovely fillets of wild Scottish saithe in the fishmongers, which makes me sad that we don’t value it more in the UK. If you order saithe fillets from Delish Fish, they will arrive in a special box, all skinned, boned and filleted and sealed in handy portion sizes, ideal for freezing or for flinging into the frying-pan straight away!
So, today’s tasty fish pie is made with some of my saithe fillets, as well as salmon and some North Atlantic prawns for a luxury feel to the end of the week, as well as a “why not” treat as it IS Friday! You could of course make this pie with ALL white fish and maybe some smoked fish could be added too…..it’s a moveable feast and the combination of fish is up to you; I would also suggest hake and whiting as alternative fish to the usual cod and haddock.
But back to my pie again, the cheesy topping is a special treat too and makes this such a tasty family supper dish; I know lots of people add peas or boiled eggs to their pie fillings, and I have done so in the past too, but I sometimes find that the peas become overcooked and the eggs become rubbery, so we prefer to serve the peas on the side, instead of adding them to the fish pie filling, although this pie was served with some lovely yellow and green courgettes in a garlic butter today. I DID add the optional chopped chives and parsley though, as I LOVE the flavours of those herbs with fish……if you prefer not to add cheese to the topping, that is fine, although I sometimes add sliced tomatoes on top of the mashed potatoes by way of adding another vegetable element to the dish, great for your five-a-day count. So, here is my lovely family fish pie, in all its glory, with thanks to John from Delish Fish and the lovely team at Fish is the Fish for sending me the box of fish……more recipes to follow. That’s it for now, see you later and have a Fab Friday! Karen.
Old-Fashioned Fish Pie with Cheesy Mash
|Serves||4 to 6|
|Prep time||30 minutes|
|Cook time||30 minutes|
|Total time||1 hour|
|Meal type||Lunch, Main Dish|
|Misc||Child Friendly, Pre-preparable, Serve Hot|
|By author||Karen S Burns-Booth|
- 300ml full fat milk
- 1 onion, peeled and cut into thick slices
- 2 bay leaves
- 350g fresh coley (saithe) fillets
- 350g fresh salmon fillets/steaks, cut into chunks
- 200g cooked North Atlantic prawns, peeled
- salt and black pepper
- 50g butter
- 50g plain flour
- 900g potatoes, peeled and cut into small even-sized pieces
- 50g butter
- 125g mature Cheddar cheese
- Freshly chopped chives (Add the the white sauce)
- Freshly chopped curly parsley (Add to the white sauce)
A fabulous old-fashioned style fish pie, perfect for a family meal or for more formal occasions; the fish pie is made with coley (saithe) as opposed to haddock or cod, which is a more sustainable fish and cheaper on the pocket. Prawns and salmon add a touch of luxury, but other white fish can be substituted instead, such as whiting or hake.
|Step 1||Filling: Place the coley (saithe) and salmon in a saucepan with the milk, bay leaves and onion slices. Season with salt and pepper and bring to a gentle simmer, cook for 2 to 3 minutes and then place a lid on the saucepan, take it off the heat and allow to infuse for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, remove the fish from the milk with a slotted spoon and place the fish into a bowl, adding the prawns and mixing gently, as not to break the fish up. Removed the bay leaves and onion slices from the milk and pour the milk into a jug.|
|Step 2||Mashed potato topping: Boil the potatoes for 20 to 30 minutes until very soft. Drain the potatoes and then add the butter and mash with a potato masher until smooth and fluffy. Season to taste and add three quarters of the grated cheese and mix well. Pre-heat oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.|
|Step 3||Sauce: Melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour, keep stirring until the mixture resembles sand, then start to add the infused milk gradually, whisking all the time until the all the milk is used up and you have a thick, smooth sauce. Check seasoning and adjust. Add the chopped chives and parsley, and stir well.|
|Step 4||Pie: Spoon a little of the white sauce on the base of a deep enamel pie dish or another suitable oven-proof dish. Arrange the fish and prawns over the top of the sauce and then add the rest of the sauce. Smooth the top of the sauce and then carefully add the cheesy mashed potatoes, ensuring that the potatoes go right up to the edges of the pie dish. Take a teaspoon and press the back of the bowl into the mashed potatoes to give the effect of fish scales and then sprinkle the rest of the grate cheese over the top.|
|Step 5||Place the pie into the pre-heated oven and cook for 25 to 30 minutes or until the top is golden brown and the filing is bubbling. Serve hot with fresh garden peas, or other seasonal vegetables such as courgettes, carrots and green beans.|
A Trifle Rushed says
What a fabulous pie, I love the fish scale pattern on the top, it looks spectacular, and although I make fish pie all the time I’d never thought of adding cheese, what a great idea. Judex
Thanks Jude, I have always done that fish scales pattern on top of my pies, and I have always added a bit of cheese for an extra treat too! 🙂
Jaime @ Jaim's Kitchen says
I love fish pie and yours look so delicious! Those scales are so clever x Might try coley next time as I’ve never cooked it before.
Thanks Jaime. DO try coley it is a MUCH cheaper fish than cod or haddock and is very nice indeed!
Ren Behan says
You are clever! I have some of this to use too from Delish Fish. Mine looked more grey than pink but maybe it’s the same. The pie looks yum. Just perfect for a Friday! x
Thanks Ren – the coley has come out looking pinker in the photos….strange!
Javelin Warrior says
Being so close to the water as I am, I need to find a place that offers truly fresh fish – this pie looks amazing but I’m doubtful it would taste nearly as good if I used fish that’s been frozen and shipped. Another great fish recipe and love the potato topping 🙂
Thanks so much – I was lucky to receive such amazing fish!
I haven’t had fish pie for years – yours looks amazing especially with that cheesy mash topping!
Thanks Kathryn, it was a nice pie, one of the best I have made recently!
Oh yum! I’ve had a bit of a poorly tummy today and haven’t really eaten properly but I’m sooo hungry now having read this!
Aw sorry to hear that Annie – I hope you are feeling much better and that maybe this could be on the menu? Thanks!
I love a nice creamy fish pie – and this fish looks lovely and sturdy. Love the addition of prawns too. Yummy for a Friday.
Thanks Denise, fish pie is always a BIG hit in this house!
Goodness gracious–this looks amazing. I have a bit of a time tracking down decent fish since we’re about 12 hours by car from the closest ocean, but this recipe looks worth the trouble! I love a good fish pie.
One of my favourite pies is a fish pie, and this was very tasty!
Sarah-Jane Iles says
I am a transplanted Brit to Missouri, Mid America. I was looking for a traditional fish dish and tried your recipe with talipia – a white widely used North American fish and salmon fillets, adding fresh spinach to the fish when I spooned it into pie dish, I used petit sweet peas as an additional side vegetable, to my amazement my two teenage boys loved it, went back for seconds and have asked me to make it again. Thank you for a delightful dinner.
Karen Burns-Booth says
I am SO pleased that you liked this recipe and thanks for letting me know too! Karen