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Fish pie

Published on February 25, 2016
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Matthew Mason, head chef at The Jack in the Green near Exeter, shares the pub’s much-loved fish pie recipe

Fish pie

Serves 8

You will need

Bay leaf 1
Milk 600ml
Double cream 250ml
Cod fillet 500g, skinned and diced
Smoked haddock fillet 250g, skinned and diced
Salmon 250g, skinned and diced
King prawns 125g, cooked and peeled
Unsalted butter 60g
Flour 60g
Dijon mustard 1 tsp
Dill 1 tbsp, finely chopped
Salt and pepper
Mature West Country Cheddar enough to top the pie


  1. Put the milk, bay leaf and double cream into a large pan and season well. Place over a moderate heat and bring to a low simmer. Slide in the fish (but not the cooked prawns).
  2. Cover with a lid and turn off the heat. The fish will cook in the residual heat becoming tender and then will flake easily – this will take between 5-6 minutes.
  3. Remove from the fishy milk (which should be strained and reserved with any unwanted skin or bones discarded). Let the fish fall into your pie dish in large flakes and chunks, the larger the better. Reserve until ready.
  4. Melt the butter in a pan, add the flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually, over a low to moderate heat, whisk in the reserved fishy milk and then add the mustard. Turn the heat right down and cook out the sauce for a further 10 minutes before removing from the heat, stirring frequently.
  5. At this point you should have a smooth and creamy sauce. Adjust the seasoning. If your sauce reaches the desired consistency before all the liquid is added then simply don’t add it all. However if your sauce is still a little thick add a little more milk until the desired consistency is reached.
  6. When the sauce has cooled a little stir in the cooked prawns and the freshly chopped herbs. Pour enough sauce to just cover your cooked fish. Cover loosely with cling film and refrigerate until cold.
  7. This may seem a massive cheat but if like me you are short on time, I have found fresh shop bought mash to be a great time saver although avoid anything with extra milk added. Simply re-heat in a pan with a little butter and adjust the seasoning before using.
  8. For a more attractive finish I recommend transferring your re-heated mash to a piping bag with a star shaped nozzle and piping it over your now cold filling.
  9. Scatter the cheese over the surface and bake in a pre-heated oven at 180ºC for 20-25 minutes until piping hot and golden brown.

Chef’s tip: ‘Add some fresh peas, sliced fennel or a pinch of saffron for a real touch of luxury,’ says Matt.

Find more recipes from Matthew and the team at The Jack in the Green in their new book, The Jack Cook Book Volume One.

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