This is a version of a famous French dish called 'Hachis Parmentier', with meat on the bottom and mashed potatoes on top, a bit like Shepherd's Pie. You can play around with the layers and turn them round and use fish instead of meat.


  • 750 g cod
  • milk to cover for poaching
  • 750 g potatoes
  • six cloves of garlic
  • good pinch of saffron
  • bay leaf
  • salt and pepper
  • 200 ml cream
  • 3 tbs olive oil
  • one sliced tomato
  • grated parmesan


  • Poach the cod in a little bit of milk and, to give it some flavour, put a bay leaf and some pepper and salt in there.
  • Boil the potatoes for the layer and roast some whole garlic cloves, still in their skin. These will be mashed and stirred into the potatoes with some saffron.
  • The saffron needs to be infused in liquid to release its flavour. You can use olive oil for this, but I favour cream as it will be nicer in the potatoes.
  • Put a good pinch of saffron into the cream and let it heat slowly and the saffron will infuse into it.
  • Next put the fish into the milk and let it poach for about three or four minutes. I am using cod, but you could use any flaky, white fish.
  • Take it carefully from the pan and let it drain.
  • Next mash the potatoes, add the saffron cream and the lovely garlic.
  • When it's roasted it is lovely and soft and the roasting takes away a bit of the harshness of the garlic.
  • Add a sprinkling of salt and pepper and some olive oil. You could use butter, but I am staying faithful to the original French recipe.
  • Work it all together and you are ready to make up the dish, either in little individual portions or in a large gratin dish, creating layers, starting with the potato. Then a little bit of fish is flaked on top.
  • I garnish the top with some slices of tomato and shavings of parmesan and pop it under the grill three or four minutes until it is piping hot and golden on top to serve.