Fish pie is one of the great British pies. It may be beige, but it’s not lacking in flavor. This comforting pie made with flaky fish, shrimp and peas in a bath of a warm creamy parsley sauce, topped with mashed potato.
The fish pie is a bit of a departure from these meat pies, but comforting and delicious nonetheless.
For the fish pie, also known as fisherman’s pie, the choices of fish depend on what side of the Atlantic you’re on, but for maximum flavor some smoked fish must be included.
In England smoked haddock is it, but here in the U.S, whitefish (a smoked white fish) or smoked salmon will work. The smoked fish brings a richness and depth of flavor that you can’t get without it.
Fresh fish is second to none in the British Isles and the biting North Sea. The North Sea is off the coast of the North East of England, where I am from. It produces some of the best seafood, of which I ate a lot growing up.
For a 9 x 13 baking dish, 2 1/2 pounds fish and shrimp are needed. The pie starts with a basic white sauce, that is cooked with onions for flavor and thickened to creamy perfection with flour.
Fresh parsley is added, as well as my secret addition, fresh nutmeg. It is not traditional, but I think adds a lovely, slightly sweet addition to the sauce.
Fresh or frozen peas are added into the sauce, then the fish and seafood. This sauce is poured into the baking pan and topped with fluffy mashed potato, breadcrumbs and Parmesan for a crispy finishing crust.
This fish pie also makes a great freezer meal. Assemble up to the point of baking, then wrap well in plastic wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.
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