Thursday, 2 October 2008


Note this recipe takes some time to prepare because the first part needs to be allowed to cool before the topping is added and the pie goes in the oven. Overall, I would allow over an hour. Nevertheless, it is well worth it!

350g (12oz) skinned smoked haddock fillet
350g (12oz) skinned unsmoked haddock fillet
2 leeks, sliced
50g (2oz) butter
50g (2oz) plain flour
600ml (1 pint) hot milk
black pepper
juice of ½ a lemon
2 tablespoons freshly chopped dill
3 hard boiled eggs, roughly chopped
1kg (2 1/4lb) potatoes, peeled, cut into even sized pieces
300ml (1/2 pint) milk
2 heaped tablespoons grainy mustard
75g (3oz) mature cheddar cheese, grated

I prefer undyed smoked haddock - there is no difference in the flavour but I don't see any point in eating chemicals for the sake of it!

Pre-heat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4.
Butter a 2 litre (3 ¼ pint) shallow pie dish, about 6cm (2 ½”) deep.
Cut the fish into 1cm (1/2”) pieces, discard any skin and bones.
Boil the leeks in salted water for about 5 minutes and drain well.
Melt the butter in a good sized pan, add flour and cook for a few moments not allowing it to colour. Whisk in half the hot milk and allow to thicken. Whisk in the remaining hot milk and whisk until smooth. Add the fish and a little salt and pepper. Cook over the heat for 2 minutes stirring at all times. Add dill and chopped egg and turn into the buttered dish. Spoon over the leeks and set aside to become completely cold and firm.

Boil the potatoes in salted water till tender, drain and push the potatoes to one side in the pan. Add the milk and let it become hot, mash the potatoes with the milk with a potato masher then whisk in the mustard.
Spread the mash over the cooled fish and scatter with the grated cheese.
Stand the dish in a large roasting tin (just in case it boils over).
Bake in the oven for about 30 minutes until the top is golden and the sauce is bubbling at the edges.

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