Life’s a Feast: Fish pie with mash


Veloute is similar to a white sauce but with far more flavour. In this recipe I’ve used my mother’s trick of using fish stock and poaching the smoked fish in milk. This fish pie is very flexible – there’s no need to dress the mash up with saffron to impress the family and you can leave out the scallops. Either way you’ll get a delicious result the whole family will devour.



200g smoked fish
200g fresh fish, sliced into 2-3cm pieces (I use monk fish)
150g prawns
150g scallops (use more of other ingredients or use mussels if too expensive)

Veloute sauce:
3 tablespoons butter
3 tablespoons flour
2 bay leaves
Pinch each of ground clove and nutmeg (optional)
400ml fish stock
250ml milk

1 onion, diced
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
1 stalk celery, grated
Bunch parsley, chopped
2 good handfuls spinach, chopped

600g potatoes, boiled
100ml milk
Pinch each of saffron and chilli (optional)
2 tablespoons butter
Panko crumbs
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 190 degrees. Bring milk and fish stock to simmer and place in your smoked fish whole. Poach for about 8 mins. Add monkfish for the final couple of minutes to partially cook. Remove fish and pull apart into bite-sized pieces.

2. Melt butter for veloute in a pot and add flour. Mix continuously for 2-3 mins. Remove from heat and add about half the milk stock mix. Mix until smooth. Add another one-third of the liquid and combine again. Add half the remaining liquid and combine. If too thick, add more milk mix. Stir through cloves, bay leaves and nutmeg and simmer for 20 mins, stirring occasionally.

3. Meanwhile, pour a little oil to another pot and heat to medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and cook until softened, about 3-4 mins. Add celery and spinach and cook until celery’s softened, about 3-4 mins.

4. Mash potatoes with milk, butter and saffron and chilli, if using.

5. Place all seafood into an ovenproof dish and distribute evenly. Sprinkle over with vegetable mix and chopped parsley, then pour over your veloute. Top with mashed potato and sprinkle with a few panko crumbs. Cook for about 20 mins until the top is golden brown. Serve immediately with some nice fresh bread and a side of healthy vegetables or salad.

Note: You can take out any of the seafood you do not like and substitute it for something you prefer. The key is to make sure it’s all cut to a similar size so it cooks evenly.