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:

  1. Steam or boil the potatoes in their jackets.
  2. Peel, mash and immediately mix in 300ml of boiled milk with 50g butter melted in it.
  3. If you want to pipe some of the potato it will need to be quite soft.
  4. Season to taste.

For the Leeks:

  1. Wash the leeks, making sure no grit remains. Dry the leeks.
  2. Slice thinly into rings using the white and light green parts.
  3. Melt 25g of butter and sauté the leeks until soft but don't allow to brown.

For the Sauce:

  1. Heat 600ml of milk in a wide saucepan with sliced carrot, onion, herbs and some pepper.
  2. Bring to boil and simmer for about 5 minutes, remove from heat and let flavours infuse in the milk for about 10 minutes.
  3. Strain and keep the flavoured milk for cooking fish.
  4. If you are using a stock cube dissolve in the milk instead.

For the Fish:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. Be careful not to overcook or break up the fish too much.
  5. Mix in the cooked leeks gently.
  6. Add the cooked shellfish if using.
  7. You can make one large pie or 3-4 smaller ones, or individual starter servings.
  8. In each case lightly grease the dishes you will cook the pie in.
  9. With a slotted spoon remove the fish from the milk without breaking it up too much, and divide evenly among the dishes.
  10. Keep the milk to one side.

For the Sauce:

  1. 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.
  2. If using cheese add at this stage, stir in to melt.
  3. Put the sauce over the fish in the dishes and top with the mashed potato, using a fork or a piping bag.
  4. 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.