This delicious fish pie looks and tastes far more complicated to make than it actually is. It is perfect as a comforting winter weekday meal, and even for something a bit more special like a dinner party (remember when those were a thing?!)
The fish is cooked gently in a moreish silky white sauce laced with spinach, then topped with regular and sweet potato mash, plus a layer of crispy bubbling cheddar cheese. Is it low in fat? Probably not. But it is nutritious, substantial and completely delicious, ideal after a chilly day playing in the snow.
My toddler who happens to love fish absolutely devours this pie. My partner who does NOT like fish, absolutely devours this pie as well. Happy family, happy mum, literally everyone is a winner here.
.*You will need an 11inch by 6 ½ inch -or similar size- oven dish.
*This makes enough for 4 generous portions. For our family of 2 and a half there will be plenty leftover to portion out and put in the freezer so that I have something healthy to grab for my daughter on days I don’t have the time -or inclination- to cook.
- 4 large baking potatoes
- 1 large sweet potato
- 80g unsalted butter (40g for the potato topping, 40g for the filling)
- 35g all purpose flour
- 450ml semi skimmed (half fat) milk, plus an extra splash for the mashed potato (You can use full fat milk for an extra luxurious finish if you wish)
- 75g cheddar cheese (25g for the filling, 50g for the topping) any type you prefer is fine (we love extra mature) but I absolutely insist that it is cheddar!
- ½ tsp smooth Dijon mustard
- 1 tsp fresh lemon juice
- Salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste
- 45g fresh spinach, preferably young leaves
- 250g mixed frozen fish cut into about 2 inch chunks; salmon, cod and haddock works great but any combination is fine (you can also of course use fresh fish, but I find frozen works out cheaper and doesn’t overcook in the oven.)
- 80g canned sweetcorn, optional but a favourite with young children
- Preheat your oven to 200°C, or 392°F.
- Stab the baking potatoes with a fork and cook in the middle of the oven for 1 hour, adding the sweet potato after 20 minutes. Tip; Make sure your potatoes are soft before taking them out of the oven, if they are particularly large they may need another 20 minutes or so.
- To make the white sauce melt 40g of butter over a medium heat in a medium sized saucepan. When it is melted add the flour, stir and cook for 1 minute.
- Add the milk a little at a time as the sauce thickens, whisking continuously to avoid lumps.
- When the sauce is smooth and slightly thickened in texture, take off the heat and stir in 25g of the cheddar cheese, mustard, lemon juice and seasoning to taste.
- Add the spinach and heat in the sauce for a minute or so until it begins to wilt, then add the fish. Pour into the oven dish and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
- With a large spoon scoop the insides of the cooked potatoes out of their skins -take care, they will be hot- and into a large bowl, add 40g butter, a splash of milk and salt and pepper to your taste, then beat together with a wooden spoon until smooth.
- Spoon the mashed potato over the filling top with the rest of the cheddar cheese (plus a little more if you like) and cook in the oven for 20 minutes until golden brown and bubbling. Tip; Don’t smooth out the mashed potato, the bits that stick up go brown and crispy!
- Allow to cool for at least 5 minutes before serving. Great on it’s own, with a side of green veggies or a salad.