British Fish Pie RecipeJanette Fuschi | Culinary Ginger
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.
There are many popular, British savory pies. The ever popular shepherd’s pie, it’s similar relative Cumberland pie and a good old hearty, steak and ale pie.
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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British Fish Pie Recipe
- 3 pounds Russet Potato, peeled and cut into large chunks
- 2 1/2 ounces Unsalted Butter, plus 3 1/2 ounces
- 1/2 cup Whole Milk, plus 2 1/4 cups
- 1/4 teaspoon Salt
- pinch of Ground Black Pepper, small
- 6 ounces Onion, chopped
- 3 tablespoons All-Purpose Flour, heaping
- Parsley Flakes
- 1 pound Firm Whitefish
- 1/2 pound Salmon
- 1/2 pound Shrimp
- 1/2 pound Smoked Fish
- 1/2 teaspoon Salt, or to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- Ground Nutmeg, to taste, optional
- 6 ounces Fresh Peas, or frozen peas, 1 1/2 cups
- 3/4 cup Breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Add the potatoes to a large pan and cover with water.
- Bring to a boil and simmer for 20 minutes until cooked. Drain and mash with 3 ounces butter and 1/2 milk, 1/4 teaspoon salt & small pinch of black pepper. Set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- To a high-sided sauté pan add the 4 ounces of the butter to the pan over medium heat.
- Add the onion and cook until it softens, about 8 minutes. Don’t let the butter brown.
- Whisk in the flour and cook for 1 minute.
- Slowly add a little milk, whisking until thickens then keep adding in small batches while whisking into the flour. Whisk until it thickens.
- Stir in the parsley, salt, pepper, nutmeg if using and carefully add the fish and shrimp. Add the peas and pour the fish and sauce into a 3-quart casserole dish.
- Top with the mashed potatoes and bake for 20 minutes.
- Remove from the oven, sprinkle the top with the breadcrumbs and Parmesan and bake for 10 more minutes.
- Janette Fuschi
- Cooking Method:
- British, Casseroles, Fish, Shrimp, Seafood, Mashed Potatoes, Easy, Baked
- Related Recipes:
- British Recipes, Casserole Recipes, Fish Recipes, Shrimp Recipes, Seafood Recipes, Mashed Potato Recipes, Easy Recipes, Baked Recipes
- Recipe Yields:
- 6 servings
- Prep Time:
- Cook Time:
- Total Time:
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Author: Janette Fuschi
Recipe Yields: 6 servings
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 50 minutes
Amount Per Serving