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A Girl Called Jack
I love a fish pie but, when time is tight and I fancy something similar, I make fish in a white sauce and serve it with a pile of fluffy mash with cheese instead. Fancy restaurants would call that ‘deconstructed’ – I call it ‘quicker and easier’. This fish pie recipe below is a delicious midweek treat, and can be made in separate individual-sized portions to freeze.

Serves 4–6

Posted by Penguin Published See Penguin's 32 projects » © 2023 Jack Monroe / Penguin · Reproduced with permission.
  • Step 1

    Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/gas 4.

  • Step 2

    Wash and dice the potatoes (or drain if using tinned ones)
    and bring to the boil in a large saucepan of water. Reduce to
    a medium heat and cook until tender – 20 minutes for fresh
    potatoes, 5 minutes for tinned.

  • Step 3

    Meanwhile, poach the fish. Peel and slice the onion and put
    into a large sauté pan or saucepan with the thyme. Add the
    fish, cover with the milk, and poach on a low heat for around 8
    minutes. Remove the pan from the heat, take out the fish and
    onion pieces and place on a plate. Flake the fish with a fork.
    Reserve the poaching liquid to make the sauce with later.
    Boil or poach the eggs in a small saucepan for 6 minutes.
    Drain and carefully spoon on to the fish plate.

  • Step 4

    Check the potatoes – they should be very soft by now. When
    cooked, drain the potatoes and tip back into the saucepan.
    Mash with a little milk and butter. Grate the cheese into the
    mash and stir well to melt through.

  • Step 5

    Melt the butter in a milk pan over a low heat and add 1
    tablespoon of the flour. Stir well with a wooden spoon to make
    a thick paste. Add the other tablespoon of flour and repeat.
    Now take a tablespoon of the reserved poaching liquid and stir
    it into the paste until well mixed in. Repeat, gradually adding
    more liquid, until blended together in a thick sauce. You may
    not need to use all the poaching liquid. Add the spinach, stir to
    wilt, then tip in the cooked eggs, mashing them with the back
    of a fork to break up. Add the onion then the flaked fish and
    mix everything together well to coat in the sauce.

  • Step 6

    Spoon the fish mixture into a large ovenproof casserole dish
    then top with the potato mash, starting at the edge of the dish
    and working inwards, using a fork to fluff up the top. Bake in
    the preheated oven for 20 minutes, until the mash is golden
    and crispy on top.

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