The search is over, this is THE best fish pie ever.  I first ate it at bookclub when Meags made it.  Its from JO’s second book and in the Nov 09 edition of BBC good food mag its included in an article as one of his favourite recipes of the last decade. I have tweaked the recipe to accomodate standard South African pack sizes (how nice is that?).

recipe:

  • 5 large spuds peeled and diced (about 3 cm)
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 free range eggs (leave out if you don’t like)
  • 2 handfuls spinach (I used 1 x 200gms packet of baby spinach)
  • 1 onion finely chopped
  • 1 carrot chopped / diced (small)
  • extra virgin olive oil
  • 250ml cream (recipe says 285ml double cream)
  • 2 good handfuls grated parmesan or cheddar cheese (I used a local and delicious parmesan style cheese)
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 heaped tsp english mustard (I used 2 teaspoons Dijon)
  • 1 large handful flat leafed parsley, finely chopped
  • 500 gm smoked haddock sliced into strips and then chopped into biggish chunks (I used the folded fillets bought frozen then thawed). You could use any nice firm white fish – cod, hake, kingklip etc.  I think salmon could also work – or a mix of salmon and white fish.
  • nutmeg (optional) – I didn’t use, I’m weary of nutmeg since my overdose in the nineties which left me hallucinating and ill for 48 hours –thats a loong and very funny story

how to make:

  • pre heat oven to 230 degrees c
  • I then chopped all the things, juiced the lemon and got everything ready to cook
  • boil pots in salted water for a couple of minutes
  • add the 2 eggs and set timer for 8 minutes and add to the spuds.  remove when ready and cool, peel and cut into quarters
  • place a colander or sieve over the boiling potatoes and empty the spinach in, put the lid on and steam for about 2 minutes (how convenient). Remove and drain.
  • when spuds are cooked drain in the colander
  • in a separate pan fry the onion and carrot for about 5 minutes in the olive oil then add the cream and bring to the boil
  • remove from the heat, add the cheese, lemon juice, parsley and mustard
  • put the spinach (which you have squeezed and chopped up), the chopped up fish and eggs into an appropriately sized oven dish and mix together 
  • pour over the cream mixture
  • mash up the potatoes with a drizzle of olive oil, salt and pepper and then spread over the fish pie using a fork
  • you could drizzle a bit more oil or melted butter over the top to get a browner finish.  You could also sprinkle over some more cheese if you really wanted to be decadent and get some more crunch
  • bake for about 25 – 30 mins – until golden

The recipe serves 6, but between the 4 of us we manged to scrape and lick every last morsel of this delicious pie. My friend John had 3 helpings (he is a slim élite athlete so thats ok).  I served this with JO’s recommendation of some warmed baked beans in tom sauce …(really this does add so much value) and my zesty warm green bean salad.

Do not pass go, do not worry about the calories, go straight into the kitchen and make this. Yumalicious.

(note to self – for future possible changes and options, add prawns, mix in some salmon with the white fish, possibly celery etc)

A big heap of pie and beans
bubbling over the edge

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10 Comments

  1. Can you freeze this? I have done so but now been told you can’t freeze hard boiled eggs in a recipe.

  2. Hi Pat, Freezing hard boiled eggs alters its structure and the whites become rubbery, thus not recommended. The yolk freezes ok. I wouldnt worry about it, just pick the egg out when you reheat it.

  3. My friends were totally in raptures when i presented them with this dish and they wanted more!!!!!!!!!!!!! I did let them have the recipe.

  4. I love this recipie although I never put the eggs in and so far I have only used cod as my family is fussy and not adventerous. One question……what to do with leftovers?
    I always do too much. Can it be frozen & reheated? Does it have to be defrosted before reheating or can it be done from frozen?
    Also I have my 1 year old grandson living with us at the moment, we usually eat after he has gone to bed can I warm the leftovers up for his lunch the next day? I know thats about 4 questions in all 🙂

  5. Sam

    HI Maria, its a YES to all your questions.
    You can freeze this (except egg but you don’t use anyway). It can be reheated from frozen, but know that mash potato never freezes and re heats well anyway (it will be a bit liquidy).
    The best bet is to leave leftovers in the fridge and then re heat over the next few days (it will be fine for a good 3 days). I don’t mind doing this because its so delicious. Don’t forget the baked beans.
    Sam

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