So Simple Fish Pie

Little children don’t like green bits in their food and rarely care for sauces with mustard or hard-boiled egg. Many don’t like prawns or mushrooms. Or the strong flavour of smoked haddock. All these ingredients often find their way into my fish pies but this one is plain and simple, just carefully boned white fish, a well-seasoned white sauce and buttery mashed potato with grated cheese to give a crusty finish. Peas and tomato ketchup are what you want with this.

Serves 2

Prep: 20 min

Cook: 45 min

600g large floury potatoes

250ml milk

1 small onion

1 bay leaf

4 peppercorns

2 cloves

65g butter

2 fillets sole

1 dsp flour

freshly grated Parmesan or similar

     Halve, peel and finely slice the onion. Place in a pan with milk, bay, peppercorns, cloves and generous pinch salt. Simmer for 5 minutes. Leave covered. Peel, chunk, rinse and boil the potatoes tender in salted water. Drain. Melt 50g butter in 50ml milk in the potato pan, return and mash the potatoes smooth (I use a mouli-legumes). Slice the fish off its skin in one fell swoop, holding the tail-end skin as you press down and fold the fillet forward off the skin. Halve lengthways and cut into 4 or 5 pieces. Place in a 1 litre gratin dish. Season with salt and pepper. Melt 15g butter in a small pan, stir in the flour smooth. Add the strained milk and simmer whilst whisking for 4-5 minutes to cook the flour. Pour the sauce over the fish. Dust with a generous layer of grated Parmesan. Heat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6. Spoon on the mash and make swirls with a fork. Add more cheese. Bake for 30-40 minutes until crusty and bubbling round the edge.