- Serves: 6
- Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
- Prep Time: 25 minutes
- Effort: easy
- 675 g smoked haddock
- 450 g white fish fillets, such as haddock or halibut
- 1 blade mace
- 1 sticks celery, broken
- 1/2 onion, peeled, plus 1 small onion, finely diced
- 1.2 litres milk
- 75 g butter
- 3 rashers dry-cured,smoked back bacon, chopped
- 50 g flour
- freshly ground black pepper
- freshly grated nutmeg
- 2 tbsp chopped parsley
- green salad, or peas, to serve
For the potato topping
- 1.3 kg potatoes, peeled
- 50 g butter
- 150 ml milk
- 75 g parmesan, or Cheddar cheese, grated
1. Remove any bones from the fish and cut into chunks about 2.5cm wide. Put the fish in a saucepan with the mace, celery and the onion half, then pour in the milk. Place over a moderate heat and let the milk come to simmering point. (Push the fish down into the milk if the milk doesn't quite cover it.) Take the pan off the heat and set aside to cool.
2. When the milk and fish have cooled completely, strain off and reserve the milk in a jug. Pick out and discard the celery, onion and mace.
3. Melt the butter in a large saucepan and fry the diced onion and bacon together until the onion is soft and transparent. Stir in the flour and let this cook for a couple of minutes before gradually adding the strained milk, stirring continuously to make a smooth sauce.
4. Bring the sauce to the boil and let it bubble gently for 1 minute before removing the pan from the heat. Season to taste with freshly ground pepper and nutmeg. Gently stir in the cooked pieces of fish, then the chopped parsley and pour this mixture into an ovenproof dish. Set aside to cool.
5. Meanwhile, prepare the potato topping. Peel and cube the potatoes and cook in boiling salted water until soft. Drain and return the potatoes to the hot pan, shaking the pan over the heat to steam off the excess water. Remove the pan from the heat and mash the potatoes well.
6. In a small pan, melt the butter in the milk. Using a wooden spoon, beat the potatoes, adding the melted butter and milk gradually. Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
7. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Cover the cold fish base evenly with the mashed potatoes and run a fork across the surface to create lines. Sprinkle with the grated Parmesan or Cheddar cheese.
8. Bake the fish pie for 35-40 minutes, or until the sauce is bubbling around under the edge of the potato and the cheese has melted to form a golden-brown crust. Serve, with either a mixed-leaf salad, or with peas, or both.
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