The fish pie of Britain is an enigmatic creation, the roux the only constant over the generations. Good mature cheese has always been seen as the secret ingredient by some cooks while others insist the true secret ingredient has always been anchovy essence. A covering of riced potatoes would appear to be more traditional than the pastry cover. A stock made with fish will give the pie more flavour, yet once again there is some dispute whether this addition is truly traditional. Fish other than cod or white can also be found in some versions, as well as mushrooms and tomatoes.
- 2 kg assorted haddock, hake, herring, mackerel, white fish, filleted, cut into large pieces
- 1 kg potatoes, cooked whole, skinned, riced
- 500 g smoked haddock, filleted, cut into large pieces
- 600 ml milk
- 200 g mature semi-hard cheese, grated
- 40 g butter
- 40 g flour
- 30 g oyster sauce
- 6 anchovies / sprats
- 30 g parsley, chopped
- 15 g black pepper, freshly ground
Make a light roux. Remove pan from heat, whisk milk a little at a time into the mixture. Back on the heat bring to the boil stirring constantly. Turn heat to low, stir in half the cheese. Add parsley and pepper, allow to cool.
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Arrange fish in ovenproof dish, pour sauce over fish and finish with potato and remaining cheese.
Bake for 45 minutes until crisp and golden, and piping hot in the middle.