Monday, 30 July 2012

Mixed Fish Pie - easier than I thought!

One of my childrens favourite meals is fish pie but I tend to buy a ready made version rather than make it myself.  Last week I thought I would make it from scratch and it was easier than I thought.

Ingredients (to serve 4)

400g white fish fillet
400g smoked haddock
300g prawns
(NB I bought a mixed fish pack of fresh fish containing haddock,cod, salmon and prawns from my local supermarket and added extra prawns for ease)
600ml full fat milk
1 onion (chopped)
4 eggs
100g butter
50g plain flour
1 large bag (approx 1kg) of potatoes (peeled and cut into small chunks)
50g cheese (grated)
Fresh parsley (finely chopped)

Step 1)
Pre heat the oven to 200c or gas mark 6. Poach the fish by placing in a large frying pan and adding approx 500 ml of your 600ml of full fat milk. Add the chopped onion and bring to just before the boil when there are a few bubbles starting to rise in the milk but before it is bubbling fast.

Reduce the heat and allow the fish to simmer in the milk for approx 7 - 8 minutes then remove the fish and place the remaining milk from the frying pan into a jug to cool down (this will be needed again in step 3).  Once the fish is cooled gently break or 'flake' the fish into large pieces and place into an ovenproof baking dish.

Step 2
Hardboil the eggs by placing into a pan of boiling water ( best in a 'rolling heat' when the bubbles are rapidly forming in the water.  This will take approx 5 minutes to hard boil the eggs then remove from the pan and allow to cool (you can also place the boiled eggs into a pan of cold water to cool quicker) Once cooled sliced the eggs.  Place the sliced egg over the top of the fish in the baking dish and sprinkly finely chopped parsley over the top)

Step 3 (The sauce)
This is the part I thought would be tricky but was surprisingly easy. Melt half the butter (50g) in a saucepan, add the flour and cook gently over a moderate heat for 1 minute.  The mix will be quite sticky and in my opinion was reminiscent of damp dough.  Remove the mix from the heat and gradually add in the milk left over from poaching the fish.  Mix until the sauce forms a smooth paste then return to the heat and heat for about 5 minutes or until the sauce is thicken enough in consistency to cover the back of a spoon. Pour the sauce over the fish mixture in the baking dish.

Step 4)
Place the fish mix into the pre-heated oven. Whilst this is baking boil the peeled and chunked potatoes rapidly for approx 20 minutes or until soft enough to place a knife easily through the potato.  Drain and mash using the remaining butter and the remaining 100 ml of milk not used in step 1.  Remove the fish pie mix from the oven and taken care not to burn yourself top the mix with the mashed potato using a fork to fluff the top.  Cover with the grated cheese and return to the oven for another 30 minutes.

This was absolutely delicious and as mentioned so much easier than I thought to make. No more pre made fish pie for us!

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