Fish pie is one of my favourites and seems to be one of yours too, so I’ve written this new recipe to be super thrifty and make use of your freezer staples – and I have to say, it’s one of my best (using smashed sweet peas in the mash is a revelation). In theory, fish pies have always been about stretching fish a long way, and by using quality frozen fish fillets you can get in any supermarket, it’s unbelievable how cheaply you can make it.
1 hour 30 minutes
- 1kg potatoes
- 1 lemon
- 40g unsalted butter
- 400g frozen peas
- 2 carrots
- 2 onions
- olive oil
- 500ml semi-skimmed milk
- 2 x 150g frozen salmon fillets
- 2 x 100g frozen white fish fillets
- 65g plain flour
- 100g frozen spinach
- 125g frozen cooked peeled prawns
- 1 heaped teaspoon English mustard
- 40g Cheddar cheese
Preheat the oven to 180.C/350.F/gas 4. Peel the potatoes and cut into large even-sized chunks, then put them into a large pan of boiling salted water for 15 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain and mash with a pinch of salt and pepper, the zest from the lemon and the butter. Place the frozen peas in a colander, pour over some boiling water to defrost them, then drain well and pulse a few times in a food processor. Fold them through the mashed potato to create a rippled effect, then leave to one side.
Peel and chop the carrots and onions and cook them in a large ovenproof pan (roughly 30cm in diameter) with a lug of oil for 15 minutes, or until softened but not coloured, stirring occasionally. Meanwhile, heat the milk in a pan on a medium heat. Once simmering, add all the frozen fish fillets for around 10 minutes, or until cooked through, then use a slotted spoon to remove them to a plate, taking the pan off the heat.
Stir the flour into the carrots and onions, then gradually add the milk, a ladleful at a time, stirring continuously. Stir in the spinach until broken down, then season to perfection. Flake in the fish fillets (carefully remove and discard the skin if the fillets have it), add the prawns, mustard and the juice
from half the lemon, grate in the Cheddar and stir gently to combine. Top with the pea-spiked mash and smooth out, scuffing it up slightly with a fork to give it great texture. Bake for 30 to 40 minutes, or until beautifully golden. Serve with a good old helping of baked beans (if you like) – delicious!