I don’t get to eat fish very often. It’s one of my favourite things, but A Man isn’t keen so most of the time I have to go without. However, I can’t stop myself from browsing the wet fish counter at work at the end of the day, snapping up anything that’s been heavily reduced and the visit of a friend who likes fish gave me essentially no choice but to make this. I used a mix of fish and prawns, all of which were in my freezer and probably came to about £3 all told. If I’d been picking fish up especially for this recipe, I’d have got some nice smoked haddock as well. One of the less appetising aspects of a fish pie is its tendency towards the beige. To remedy this slightly, I’ve used beautiful orange sweet potatoes for the topping and thrown some frozen peas into the filling, both of which added to the flavour too – it was delicious! You don’t have to use the wine or cream – I just happened to have some left over which I decided to add.
Colourful Fish Pie
6 small sweet potatoes
2 whole gurnard
2 handfuls cooked prawns
100g smoked salmon
3 pouting fillets
1 small piece tuna loin
1 onion, peeled and studded with cloves
1 small glass white wine
Dash of double cream
1 egg, lightly beaten
Salt and Pepper to taste
- Pierce the skins of the sweet potatoes several times and cook whole in the microwave for around 10 minutes.
- Place the gurnard in a pan with the onion and parsley and add just enough milk to cover the fish. Poach gently until the fish is just cooked. Remove the fish and leave to cool.
- Cut the remaining fish into large-ish pieces and place in the pie dish with a large handful of frozen peas and the prawns. Flake the gurnard in once cool. You don’t get much meat on a gurnard, but poaching it in the milk helps to flavour the sauce well.
- Remove the skins of the potatoes and mash with a little butter.
- Remove the onion from the milk and discard the cloves. Dice the onion and fry for a couple of minutes in butter. Add flour to make a thick roux and gradually add the poaching milk to avoid lumps. Cook through until you have a thick sauce, adding some cornflour mixed with cold water if necessary to thicken. Season to taste and add the egg, cream and wine if desired.
- Pour the sauce over the fish and mix well to distribute everything evenly. Top with the mash, ensuring there are some fluffy areas to crisp up nicely. Grate some fresh nutmeg over the mash if desired.
- Cook in a preheated oven at 180OC/350OF/gas mark 4 for 40 minutes, or until the sauce is piping hot and the mash nicely browned.
- Serve with steamed broccoli.