Smoked Haddock, Salmon and Prawn Pie with a Spinach Topping

Anthony Worrall Thompson combines fresh fish, seafood and spinach in a modern take on traditional fish pie
By Antony Worrall Thompson
Smoked Haddock, Salmon and Prawn Pie with a Spinach Topping
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 50 minutes
  • Effort: medium


For the mash

  • 2 kg spinach
  • 500 g floury potatoes, such as King Edwards or Maris Piper
  • 100 ml skimmed milk

For poaching the fish

  • 600 ml skimmed milk
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper, to taste
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 clove
  • pinches freshly grated nutmeg
  • 250 g salmon, whole
  • 250 g haddock fillets, whole

For the sauce

  • 25 g unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 25 g cornflour
  • 1 tsp anchovy essence
  • 2 tbsp chopped parsley
  • 1/2 tsp thyme, leaves only
  • 1 tsp English mustard powder
  • 200 g large peeled prawns

For the topping

  • 50 g gruy√®re cheese, grated
  • 25 g parmesan, freshly grated

To serve

  • sugar snap peas
  • roasted cherry tomatoes


1. Preheat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Bring a large pan of lightly salted water to the boil and blanch the spinach leaves for 2-3 minutes, until wilted. Drain in a colander and run through with fresh water. Squeeze out any excess water from the leaves and finely chop; set aside.

2. To make the spinach and potato topping, peel and chunk the potatoes and steam for 15-20 minutes, or until they're tender. Drain and return to the pan with the pureed spinach and cook over a gentle heat for a couple of minutes, shaking the pan occasionally to prevent the potatoes sticking.

3. Mash the potatoes with the spinach, beat in the milk and season to taste with nutmeg and freshly ground pepper.

4. To prepare the fish, pour 600ml milk into a deep frying pan and add the pepper, bay leaves, clove and nutmeg to season.

5. Add the salmon and haddock fillets, and poach for 6-8 minutes until the fish is just tender. Transfer the fish fillets to a plate and set aside until they are cool enough to handle, then flake the flesh, discarding the skin and any bones; set aside.

6. Strain the poaching liquid and reserve.

7. For the sauce, melt the butter in a large non-stick pan. Add the onion and cook for 6-8 minutes, until the onion has softened but not coloured, stirring occasionally. Pour in the reserved poaching milk.

8. Mix the cornflour to a paste with a little warm milk from the pan and add it to the pan, stirring all the time. Reduce the heat and simmer gently for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally until slightly reduced and thickened.

9. Stir the anchovy essence, parsley, thyme and mustard powder into the sauce.

10. Fold in the reserved flaked fish and prawns and season to taste.

11. Spoon the fish mixture into an ovenproof dish and leave on one side for a few minutes, until a light skin forms.

12. Carefully spread the spinach mash over the fish, using a palette knife. Fluff up the surface with a fork.

13. Combine the Gruyere and Parmesan cheese and sprinkle over the top of the pie. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until the cheese has melted and is golden. Serve at once with blanched sugar snap peas and roasted tomatoes.

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