Winter Fish pie

Make this classic comfort dish with a mix of your favourite fish topped with cheesy mash
Winter Fish pie
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4-6
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Effort: medium


  • 1½ onions
  • 300 g white fish fillets, such as haddock or pollack
  • 100 g smoked haddock fillets
  • 300 g thick salmon fillet
  • 2 tbsp fresh parsley, leaves removed and chopped, stalks reserved
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 500 ml milk
  • 50 g butter
  • 40 g plain flour
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tbsp fish sauce, or anchovy sauce if you can find it
  • 1½ tbsp English mustard
  • 3 hard boiled eggs, quartered

For the topping

  • 700 g floury potatoes, peeled and halved
  • 80 g butter, softened
  • 100 ml warm whole milk
  • 80 g fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 80 g cheddar, grated

Tips and Suggestions

You can change the fish you use in the pie depending on the season and what you can afford, but make sure to have a smoked fish in for depth of flavour.


1. Preheat the oven to 180C/200C fan/gas 4. Slice the half onion and place in a large saucepan with the three types of fish, parsley stalks and the bay leaf. Cover with milk and bring to the boil, then remove from heat and rest for about a minute, or until the fish is cooked.

2. Strain through a sieve, keep the milk liquid to one side, and flake the fish into 3-4cm pieces. Dice the remaining onion, and then place in a saucepan with the butter and cook over a low heat until soft. Add the flour and stir constantly for about a minute, before adding the milk mixture, a little at a time. Stir continuously to avoid lumps, continuing to cook for about 3-4 minutes until you can no longer taste the flour.

3. Remove from heat and add the Worcestershire sauce, anchovy sauce, mustard and chopped parsley. Then lay out the flaked fish evenly in a baking dish. Place the egg quarters among the fish. Pour the sauce over the fish and eggs to cover, allowing enough room for topping. Place in the fridge to cool and set.

4. For the topping: Place the potatoes in lightly salted cold water and bring to the boil. Cook for about 1520 minutes, until well cooked, then drain and allow them to release some steam for a couple of minutes. Mash the potatoes using a masher or even better, a potato ricer. Gently fold the warm milk and butter into the mash until smooth.

5. Spread an even layer of mash over the pie and drag the prongs of a fork across the top creating grooves, which will help to form a crust when baked. Bake in the oven for 2530 minutes until hot through. Mix the breadcrumbs and grated cheddar in a bowl, then sprinkle over the top of the pie. Bake for a further 5 minutes until the topping is golden and crispy. Finish under the grill if necessary.

Extract taken from Roast: a very British cookbook by Marcus Verberne (Absolute Press), £25.00, Hardback
Photography © Lara Holmes

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