Fish & Chip Pie
I discovered a recipe by Claire Thomson in the Telegraph on a cold winter day with a new delivery from Sitka Salmon Shares in my freezer. I just had to try it. I'm so glad I did; it is creamy, comforting, and delicious.
I like to have some vegetable with meals and felt this recipe would be improved with the addition of texture and flavor. I added some smoked mushrooms that I had in the frig. I think the addition of peas would be very nice for texture and color if you don't happen to have smoked mushrooms in your refrigerator (that will be another blog post soon!)
The crispy potato topping is genius! A riff on fish and chips and on a pot pie. I love the crunch. I sliced russet potatoes into discs; but next time I will cut them into 2" chunks or fat sticks and scatter over the top. It will be easier to eat.
The recipe can easily be made dairy free by using oat milk and plant butter or ghee. The fish could be replaced with tofu. If you try the tofu option, be sure to warm up your milk as in the recipe below and season it well.
Claire suggested serving this will mashed peas. I think that would be a delicious addition!
There are a lot of steps in the recipe. You can overlap some of them or just do them one at a time. In the end, everything will be combined in one dish and baked, so you don't have to worry about anything getting cold.
Fish and Chip Pie
3 Lbs russet potatoes
3 ounces neutral oil (sunflower, canola, or grape seed)
2 Lbs white fish fillets; skin and bones removed. Cut into bite-sized chunks
1 white onion, peeled and diced
2 garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped
4 Tbl butter
45g or 2/3 cup AP flour
2.5 cups (600 ml) milk
2 bay leaves
Zest of two lemons
Small bunch of parsley, chopped
2 Tsp Dijon mustard
4 Tbl Creme Fraiche or Sour Cream
3 Tbl chopped parsley
Splash of Malt Vinegar
For the topping
For the filling
Add potatoes to a saucepan and cover with cold water. Add 1 Tsp of salt. Bring to a boil and cook until just tender when stuck through with a sharp knife. Do not over cook or they will fall apart.
While potatoes are cooking, heat your oven to 375°.
Drain the potatoes; when cool enough, cut into fat sticks 2-3" in length.
Pour oil onto a baking tray that is large enough to hold all of the potatoes in a single layer. Thoroughly coat potatoes with oil.
Cook the potatoes until lightly browned on one side. Remove from the oven and set aside.
Fill a saucepan with the milk and bay leaves and bring to a simmer. Add the fish, turn the heat to medium and cook for 4-5 minutes, just until fish are opaque. Do not over cook.
Remove fish from pan preserving the milk. Set fish aside.
While fish is simmering (or after if you prefer to take one step at a time), melt butter in a saucepan or small Dutch oven and saute the onion until soft and translucent, about 8 minutes. Add the garlic and stir for 1 minute, then add flour and stir constantly for 1 minute until combined.
Retrieve your saucepan with the milk and slowly pour it into the pan with the onion flour mixture. Stir with a whisk or wood spoon constantly while streaming in the milk. It will thicken as you go. This will take about 5 minutes.
Once milk mixture is thickened, stir in the mustard, lemon zest, creme fraiche, and parsley. Taste to check for seasoning. You will likely want to add about 2 Tsp of salt and a good ground of black pepper.
Fold in the fish chunks and pour into an approximately 12 x 8 baking dish and cool in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
While fish mix is cooling, preheat your oven to 350°.
Remove fish from the refrigerator and arrange the potatoes on top with the browned side facing down into the pie.
Bake for 30-40 minutes until the top of the potatoes are browned and the cream is bubbling.
Remove from the oven, splash with a little malt vinegar, sprinkle with chopped parsley and serve.