Tuesday 16 July 2019

Fish pie with cheddar rosti topping

Introducing our new weekly recipe column by chef Clodagh McKenna

Clodagh McKenna

Clodagh McKenna

I'm kicking off my first column with the ultimate fish pie. I made this last week for supper at home with my friends Fiona Leahy (Queen of tablescaping) and Sally Greene (Queen of theatre, who produced the Billy Elliot musical) - we cosied up in my coach house in Highbury and filled our souls with fish pie.

To save time, the filling can be made the night before, then just whip up the rosti topping on the day. This recipe can be doubled and tripled.

The most important thing is to make sure you source good-quality fish. My favourite fishmonger in London is Bourne's Seafood in Highbury Barn. If you ever pay a visit to Bourne's, make sure you down a few Carlingford Irish rock oysters while they prepare your fish. They taste like the Atlantic Ocean.

I like to serve my fish pie with grilled purple sprouting broccoli or asparagus. A lovely wine to accompany this dish would be Champteloup Chardonnay from the Loire Valley - it has a delicious creamy texture and a mineral backbone, which complements the smoked haddock perfectly.


Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 30 minutes

Serves 2


450g floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper, peeled

50g mature cheddar cheese

250g smoked haddock fillets, skinless

250g salmon fillets, skinless

400ml milk

1 shallot, cut in half

1 bay leaf

1 tsp black peppercorns

50g flour

50g butter, softened

2 tsps Dijon mustard

2 tbsps fresh dill

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

6 large raw prawns, in their shells

25g butter, melted


1. Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas mark 6 and grate the raw potatoes with the larger part of a box grater and pop them into a bowl of cold water to stop them from going brown. Grate the cheddar using the same side of the grater and set aside in a bowl.

2. Place the smoked haddock and the salmon in a saucepan, pour over the milk and drop in the onion, bay leaf and peppercorns. Cook over a low heat for five minutes then drain, holding on to the milk but discarding the shallot, bay leaf and peppercorns. Then add the fish to the roasting tray.

3. Melt 50g of butter in a saucepan then stir in the flour and cook for five minutes to make a roux. Add the milk that you poached the fish in as well as the mustard and whisk until the sauce is smooth and thick. Season with salt and pepper, add in half the dill and pour over the fish.

4. Drain the potatoes and pat dry with a clean tea towel until they are completely dry. Mix them in a bowl with the grated cheddar, the rest of the dill and sea salt and scatter them over the fish and the sauce. Tuck the raw prawns around the pie so

that the face of the prawns is facing up and the rest of the body of the prawns is tucked in the pie.

5. Brush the melted butter over the potatoes on top of the pie to ensure the top gets really crispy. Bake for 20 minutes, or until they are golden brown.

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