For me, a fish pie has to include a combination of smoked fish and un-smoked fish, a handful of prawns, a rich sauce, a mashed potato border, and a cheesy top. None of this parsley sauce nonsense or pastry tops!
350ml Full-cream milk
1 Bay leaf
300g Undyed smoked haddock
300g Cod, skinned
200g Large, raw, fresh peeled prawns (or 300g frozen and thawed)
30g Plain flour
10g Pack fresh dill, fronds picked and chopped
2 tbs Dijon mustard
Finely grated zest of 2 small lemons
Handful of grated cheddar cheese
For the mash
700g Potatoes, such as Maris Piper, cut into even chunks
50ml Full-cream milk
Preparation and cooking
Make the mash. Cook the potatoes in a saucepan of lightly salted boiling water for 15-20 minutes, until tender. Drain well, return to the pan and mash with the butter and milk until smooth, but dry in consistency. Season well and then transfer to a wide ovenproof dish. The mash should be arranged around the edge of the dish to make a wall for the fish and sauce.
Meanwhile, make the filling. Put the milk and bay leaf in a wide, deep frying pan over a medium heat. Bring just to simmering point, then add the haddock and cod (halve to fit in the pan, if necessary). Poach for 5 minutes, then transfer to a plate using a slotted spoon. When cool enough to handle, flake the haddock into chunks, discarding the skin and any bones. Cut the cod into bite-size pieces and arrange in the ovenproof dish with the flaked haddock and prawns.
Preheat the oven to 200°C. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute. Gradually stir in the infused milk and bring just to the boil, stirring constantly. Simmer for a few minutes until thickened. The sauce should not be too wet, otherwise it will soak into the mash potato wall. Remove from the heat and stir in the dill (optional), mustard and lemon zest. Season well, and pour over the fish. Sprinkle the top with the cheddar cheese.
Place the pie on a baking sheet and cook in the oven for about 35 minutes or until turning golden and bubbling hot throughout.