I think a good fish pie is one of the greatest comfort foods there is.
Our no potato, no pastry, no grain Luxury Fish Pie is an adaptation of Jamie Oliver’s recipe and it’s what we’ll be having for a late lunch or early supper this weekend, perhaps with a glass of cold Riesling.
This recipe features celeriac mash instead of mashed potato and crème fraîche instead of bechamel sauce and is all the better for it. In fact, because celeriac mash is slightly softer than potato it is easier to spread on top of the pie. A finishing touch of grated parmesan crisps it up nicely. What’s not to love?
Simple to make (the quickest way to grate the vegetables and cheese is with the grater attachment on a food processor), it can be prepared in advance and cooked in a pre-heated oven half an hour or so before you want to sit down and eat.
All you need as an accompaniment are some cooked peas (frozen are fine) and/or a green salad. It really is luxurious enough for special occasions too. This is a perfect make-ahead recipe for relaxed entertaining.
Luxury Fish Pie (Serves 6)
250g (9 oz) salmon fillets (skinless weight)
250g (9 oz) undyed smoked haddock fillet (skinned, bones removed)
250g (9 oz) white fish fillets - e.g hake, haddock or cod (skinned, bones removed)
200g (1 ⅓ cup) raw peeled king prawns
2 medium to large carrots, coarsely grated
2 outer sticks of celery, coarsely grated
1 tbsp olive oil
15g (2 tbsp) fresh parsley, finely chopped
150g (1 ½ cup) good quality strong cheddar cheese, coarsley grated
Lemon, juice of ½ and grated zest of whole, finely grated
225g (⅞ cup) full-fat crème fraîche
1.4 kg celeriac (3 lb) - unpeeled weight
50g (4 tbsp) butter
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
25g (¼ cup) ready-grated parmesan cheese
Pre-heat the oven to 200℃ Gas Mark 6.
First prepare the celeriac for the fish pie topping. Boil a kettle of water. Peel and chop the celeriac into 1 inch pieces. Place the cubes of celeriac in the top of a large steamer, pour boiling water from the kettle into the base pan of the steamer, cover with the pan lid and steam the celeriac for 15 minutes or until it is completely soft and cooked through (stick a sharp pointed knife in to check).
Whilst the celeriac is cooking, heat the olive oil in a large non-stick lidded pan over a medium heat. Add the grated carrot and celery to the pan and cook with the pan lid on for 5 minutes until softened but not coloured. Remove from the heat and stir in the chopped parsley.
Take off the celeriac off the heat and drain the water from the bottom of the steamer into a jug - this makes a really good vegetable stock for later use. Tip the cooked celeriac into the now empty base pan of the steamer and place back on a medium heat for a couple of minutes to drive off any excess moisture. Shake the pan from time to time or stir the celeriac with a wooden spoon to prevent it from sticking to the bottom of the pan. Do not allow it to colour.
When the water from around the celeriac has evaporated, tip the celeriac into a food processor with the butter and process it to a smooth puree. Season generously with salt and pepper. If you don’t have a food processor a hand-held stick blender will do nicely, as will a bog-standard potato masher if you’re feeling energetic! Re-check the seasoning and then set to one side whilst you assemble the pie.
Cut the fish into bite size chunks and season all but the smoked haddock with salt and pepper.
In an oven-to-table ceramic dish (mine is 12” x 9” x 2”) layer up the fish pie ingredients in the following order making sure that everything is evenly distributed:
- Grated vegetable & parsley mix
- Fish chunks and prawns
- Lemon zest and juice
- Grated cheese
- Spoonfuls of crème fraîche dotted over
- Celeriac mash, spread evenly over the top of the fish pie, then roughed-up with a fork
- Ready-grated parmesan, sprinkled evenly on top of the celeriac mash
Place in the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes.
At the end of this cooking time, switch the oven grill to high and cook for a further 5 minutes under direct heat for a golden, crispy topping
Carbohydrate 9g Protein 42g - per serving