The ultimate in comfort food or a bland stomach filler? Fish pie is really what you make it. I have tried quick methods of producing this meal and the outcome varies, I've followed the recipes of various TV chefs and have come up with this recipe which works for me.
2 smoked haddock fillets, skinned
3/4 pint of milk
1 tbsp parsley
1 onion, halved
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp parsley, chopped
1 small tin garden peas, drained
1oz plain flour
salt and pepper
potatoes chopped and boiled to provide the topping.
Preheat the oven on a medium setting.
The first step, whilst cooking the potatoes, is to create a sauce with which to cook the fish. Take half of the onion, chop it fine and fry it to be used in assembling the dish. The remaining half onion should have the clothes inserted into it and a slit cut in which the bay leaf will be inserted. Melt the butter and stir in the flour whilst warming the milk in the microwave. When the roux has been produced gradually pour in the warm milk, stirring continuously and bring to the boil. Turn the gas down to minimum and add the onion with the cloves etc, parsley, season and simmer for five to ten minutes.
Remove the onion from the white sauce and add the fish, the fried onions and the peas and warm for a further five minutes. Pour the fish and sauce into an ovenproof dish.
Prepare the mashed potato your favourite way. I add milk and butter then season. Top the dish with the mash and bake in the oven for 20 minutes.
There are lots of versions of this dish but I think the secret is cooking the fish in the white sauce. Some put hard boiled eggs in the sauce, others top with a variety of mash including sweet potato. Whatever your preference do try the white sauce a trial, it produces a flavoursome creaminess to the fish.