A good fish pie, I think, always needs some smoked fish - or shellfish - to give it a real depth of flavour and what could be more luxurious than smoked Scottish langoustines? If you can't get hold of any, use giant tiger prawns instead, and replace half the plain haddock with smoked haddock.
Serves 6 Cook 25-30 minutes
For the poaching stock
600ml fish stock
1 small onion
1 small fennel bulb, roughly chopped
2 celery sticks
1 bay leaf
Few parsley sprigs
For the filling
500g haddock fillet (or other white fish of your choice), skinned
250g salmon fillet, skinned
250g langoustine tails
For the saffron mash
1.5kg floury potatoes, such as King Edward, peeled and cut into chunks
100ml double cream
Good pinch of saffron strands
50g unsalted butter
For the sauce
40g unsalted butter
40g plain flour
300ml reserved poaching stock
100ml double cream
2 tbsp chopped tarragon
Salt and pepper
1.5-2 litre oven dish
1. Heat your oven to 200°C/gas 6. Have ready a large ovenproof dish, 1.5-2 litres capacity.
2. Place all ingredients for the poaching stock in a large pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and add the haddock and salmon. Poach the fish for a few minutes, until it is just cooked. Strain the mixture, reserving all the liquid. Pick out and discard the stock vegetables. Leave the fish to cool.
3. Put the poaching liquid into a clean pan. Bring to the boil, and boil until the liquid has reduced by half. You will need 400ml of this reduced liquor. Set aside.
4. For the saffron mash, put the potatoes in a large suacepan, cover with cold water, add a little salt and bring to the boil. Lower the heat and simmer for 15-20 minutes, until tender.
5. Meanwhile, to make the sauce, melt the butter in a pan. Stir in the flour to form a roux. Let this cook over a medium heat, stirring often, for 2-3 minutes. Turn the heat down very low and gradually add the reduced poaching liquid, a ladleful at a time, beating well after each addition to create a smooth sauce. Return to the heat and cook, stirring often, for about 5 minutes. Stir in the cream, tarragon and some salt and pepper.
6. Drain the potatoes well. Heat the cream, saffron and butter gently in the potato pan, until the butter has melted, then take off the heat and pass the potatoes through a ricer into the pan (or just tip them in and mash). Season well with salt and pepper and stir to combine.
7. Flake the cooked fish evenly over the base of your oven proofdish, checking for any bones as you go. Scatter over the langoustines. Pour over the sauce. Top with the mash, spread it evenly and then mark decoratively with a fork.
8. Bake for 25-30 minutes until golden brown on top and bubbling all the way through. If your assembled pie has cooled down, it may take longer. Serve with buttered peas.
Taken from Paul Hollywood’s Pies & Puds, published by Bloomsbury
Photograph © Peter Cassidy