Smoked Fish and Leek Pie

A good, warming comfort food sort of meal that can be prepared well ahead of time and simply popped into a preheated oven when it suits you. Adapted from a recipe by Kate Fraser, ‘Press’ 8 July 2015, Zest p2.

Ingredients.

400g mashed potato.

1 bay leaf.

Bunch parsley.

1 spring onion, finely chopped.

2 tblsp finely chopped parsley.

2 tblsp finely chopped coriander greens.

1 310g can smoked fish fillet.

1 cup milk.

50g butter.

1 small leek cut into thin medallions.

3 tblsps plain flour.

Salt to taste.

Freshly ground black pepper.

25g cold butter, diced.

Preparation.

Peel and dice the potatoes and boil in salted water for 20 minutes. Drain and mash, reducing all lumps. Set aside. Using cotton string, tie the bay leaf and the parsley into a faggot and set aside. Prepare the leek and set aside. Prepare the spring onion, loose parsley and coriander greens. Set aside.

Method.

If you are planning to eat more or less immediately, preheat the oven to 180°C. While the potatoes are boiling, place the fish fillet and juices in a small pan with the milk and the faggot. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for 4-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. In another small pan, melt the butter and gently sauté the leek medallions, adding salt and pepper to taste, for 3-4 minutes until they are soft and falling apart into rings.

Remove and discard the faggot from the meat mixture Remove and reserve the meat. Stir the flour into the leek mixture and add the hot milk to it, stirring all the time until a smooth, thick sauce is created. When the sauce is ready, add the meat, mixing it through and gently breaking it up.

Pour the mixture into a baking dish and sprinkle with the mixed spring onion, parsley and coriander. Spread the potato evenly all over and dot with the diced butter. If you are preparing the dish ahead of time, cover with cling film and keep in a cool place until ready to cook it. If preparing to eat immediately, place in the preheated oven and bake for 20-30 minutes until the sauce bubbles up the edge of the dish and the topping is crispy brown.

Serves: 2.

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