Rick Stein's Fish Pie

Try making this with haddock and smoked haddock or, if you live in Australia, substitute flat-head for the unsmoked fish.

Ingredients

1 small onion, thickly sliced
2 cloves
1 bay leaf
600ml (1 pint) milk
300ml (½ pint) double cream
450g (1lb) unskinned cod fillet
225g (8oz) undyed smoked cod or haddock fillet
4 eggs
100g (4oz) butter
45g (1½oz) plain flour
5 tbsp freshly chopped flat-leaf parsley
Freshly grated nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
1.25kg (2lb 12oz) peeled floury potatoes, such as Maris Piper or King Edward
1 egg yolk

Essential kit

You will need a shallow 1.75 litre (3 pint) ovenproof dish.

Instructions

Stud a couple of the onion slices with the cloves. Put the onion slices in a large pan with the bay leaf, 450ml (¾ pint) of the milk, the cream, cod and smoked fish. Bring just to the boil and simmer for 8 minutes. Lift the fish out onto a plate and strain the cooking liquor into a jug.When the fish is cool enough to handle, break it into large flakes, discarding the skin and any bones. Sprinkle it over the base of a shallow 1.75 litre (3 pint) ovenproof dish.

Hard-boil the eggs for 8 minutes, then drain and leave to cool. Peel them, cut into chunky slices and arrange on top of the fish.

Melt half the butter in a pan, add the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Take the pan off the heat and gradually stir in the reserved cooking liquor. Return it to the heat and bring slowly to the boil, stirring all the time.Leave it to simmer gently for 10 minutes to cook out the flour. Remove from the heat once more, stir in the parsley and season with nutmeg, salt and white pepper. Pour the sauce over the fish and leave to cool. Chill in the fridge for 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 200°C/400°F/gas 6. Boil the potatoes for 15–20 minutes. Drain, mash and add the rest of the butter and the egg yolk. Season with salt and freshly ground white pepper. Beat in enough of the remaining milk to form a soft spreadable mash.

Spoon the potato over the filling and mark the surface with a fork. Bake for 35–40 minutes, until piping hot and golden brown.

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