You can prepare the pie and refrigerate to cook later in which case it would take about 20-40 minutes to heat through fully.
- 900 g white fish (a mixture of cod, haddock, hake, salmon etc)
- 175 g to 225g smoked haddock (don't use too much smoked fish as it may overwhelm the other flavours)
- 2 medium leeks
- 100 g butter
- 900 ml full fat milk (or fish stock if preferred)
- 1 onion
- 1 carrot
- 1 bay leaf
- pinch of thyme
- 25 g flour
- salt and pepper
- 900 g potatoes
- For the Potatoes:
- Steam or boil the potatoes in their jackets.
- Peel, mash and immediately mix in 300ml of boiled milk with 50g butter melted in it.
- If you want to pipe some of the potato it will need to be quite soft.
- Season to taste.
- For the Leeks:
- Wash the leeks, making sure no grit remains. Dry the leeks.
- Slice thinly into rings using the white and light green parts.
- Melt 25g of butter and sauté the leeks until soft but don't allow to brown.
- For the Sauce:
- Heat 600ml of milk in a wide saucepan with sliced carrot, onion, herbs and some pepper.
- Bring to boil and simmer for about 5 minutes, remove from heat and let flavours infuse in the milk for about 10 minutes.
- Strain and keep the flavoured milk for cooking fish.
- If you are using a stock cube dissolve in the milk instead.
- For the Fish:
- If you wish you can buy the fish ready cut into cubes from the fishmonger, but make sure there is a nice mix of fish and not too much smoked fish.
- If you prefer to buy whole pieces of fish according to your taste and price then skin the fish, remove bones and cut into desired portion size.
- Put the fish in a wide pan or saucepan, cover with the already strained milk and bring to a gentle boil and simmer with lid on for about 5 minutes, depending on size of fish pieces.
- Be careful not to overcook or break up the fish too much.
- Mix in the cooked leeks gently.
- Add the cooked shellfish if using.
- You can make one large pie or 3-4 smaller ones, or individual starter servings.
- In each case lightly grease the dishes you will cook the pie in.
- With a slotted spoon remove the fish from the milk without breaking it up too much, and divide evenly among the dishes.
- Keep the milk to one side.
- For the Sauce:
- To make the sauce, melt 25g butter in saucepan and blend in 25g flour, add the milk in which the fish was cooked, whisking to avoid lumps. Cook for a few minutes.
- If using cheese add at this stage, stir in to melt.
- Put the sauce over the fish in the dishes and top with the mashed potato, using a fork or a piping bag.
- Heat oven to 375°F (180°C/Gas 4) and cook for 10 to 15 minutes.
Martin's tip: You can prepare the pie and refrigerate to cook later in which case it would take about 20-40 minutes to heat through fully. For a richer pie add 2oz (50g) grated cheddar cheese to the sauce.