How to Cook the Perfect...
Just about everyone loves fish pie, and my wife, Jane, makes the best. When i make it, i like to include tiger prawns because they add texture to the soft white fish, and they have such a well-defined shellfish flavour. Sometimes i use cockles, mussels, or shrimps for a change. Another favourite combination is smoked haddock with white fish and prawns.
You Will Need
Pour the stock into a medium sauce pan and add 1 sprig of thyme, a piece of bay leaf, and some salt and pepper. Bring to the
boil over a high heat. Add the vegetables and turn down the heat
to medium. Simmer uncovered for 8–10 minutes until tender, then remove from the heat. With a slotted spoon, transfer the vegetables
to a colander set over a bowl. Drain the vegetables, then dry well. Pour the drained-off liquid into the stock in the pan and reserve.
Peel the prawns and halve lengthways. Remove any black veins and rinse the prawns briefly under the cold tap. Bring the stock back to the boil and drop in the prawns. Cover and simmer for 11/2 minutes until they all turn pink. Remove the prawns with a slotted spoon, drain, and dry well. Reserve the stock.
Next cook the fish. Bring the milk to the boil in a clean pan with the remaining thyme and bay leaf and some salt and pepper. Add the fish and bring back to the boil, then take off the heat and leave to stand for 4–5 minutes. Remove the fish with a slotted spoon, drain, and dry well. Strain the reserved stock and milk into a measuring jug and make up to 600ml with more milk if necessary. Use for the béchamel sauce.
Gently mix the vegetables, prawns, and fish together, then divide among four individual ovenproof dishes (or use one large baking dish). Sprinkle with the parsley, then gradually ladle the hot béchamel sauce on top until it reaches the same level as the filling. Don’t mix the sauce through or it will break up the fish.
Heat the oven to 180°C fan (200°C/gas 6). Place the ovenproof dishes or baking dish on a baking tray.
Beat the mash with the egg yolks and cool slightly, then pipe on top of the fish mixture using a 1cm plain nozzle. Grate nutmeg evenly over the top. Bake for 20–25 minutes (about 35 minutes for a large pie) until the potato topping is tinged golden brown and the filling is bubbling. Serve hot.