Often in a fish pie the fish results in being completely over cooked, lacking its identity, texture and flavour. In this recipe we cool the sauce and add the fish to the cold sauce before baking in a hot oven to ensure that the fish is not over cooked. This versatile recipe can be made with whatever fish you prefer. You can be creative with flavouring it, and adding your favourite herbs.
Special equipment: Oval oven proof baking dish, 20cm X 13cm.
|For the sauce|
|100g||Shallots, small peeled and sliced|
|80g||Fennel, 1cm dice|
|80g||Leeks, cut in half lengthways, washed and cut into 1cm slices (*1)|
|120g||Mushrooms button, washed and sliced|
|320ml||Milk, whole, organic|
|20g/1 handful||Parsley, roughly chopped|
|1 pinch||Sea salt|
|1 pinch||Freshly ground black pepper|
|600g||Pollock, 2 cm dice (*2)|
|For the topping|
|1kg||Potatoes, desire, peeled, cut 5cm, steamed until soft 25-30minutes|
|100ml||Milk, whole, organic, warmed|
|100g||Butter, unsalted, melted|
|4 turns||Pepper, white, freshly ground|
Make and chill the sauce ahead of time. Or assemble the pie, without the topping, and freeze.
For the sauce
Steam the potatoes for the topping while you prepare the sauce. In a large sauté pan, soften the shallots, fennel and leeks in the butter for 5 minutes with no colour (*3). Add the sliced mushrooms and sweat for a further 2 minutes. Stir in the flour, and cook for 1 minute before gradually stirring in the milk. Simmer for 5 minutes, season and allow to cool, then finish with cream, chopped parsley and lemon juice. Taste and adjust the seasoning if required Divide the fish and sauce one large dish and allow to cool completely.
Preparing the topping and baking:
Strain the cooked potatoes into a colander letting the excess steam escape for 2 – 3 minutes. Pass the potato through a mouli, a sieve or mash with a potato masher. Return the puree of potato into a saucepan, gradually pour and mix in the warm milk (retain a little). stir in the melted butter and season with salt and pepper. Taste and correct the seasoning if necessary. If the puree is too firm, thin it down with the remaining milk. Allow to cool slightly before spooning into a piping bag and piping over the top of your fish pie (*4). Place the pies on a baking tray and cook for 30 minutes at 190ºC. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.
Recipe © Raymond Blanc 2013.
Photograph © David Griffen 2014.