Matthew's recipe: Simple Fish Pie (approx. for two) With Jukes 1

Each month, Matthew Jukes gives you a simple but stunning starter or main course recipe to serve with either Jukes 1, 6 or 8.  

This month is Jukes 1 paired with a Simple Fish Pie (approx. for two)

Ingredients – Simple Fish Pie

1 undyed smoked Haddock fillet

150g raw peeled Prawns

500ml full fat Milk plus a little more for the mash

1 bunch of Flat-leaf parsley - leaves washed and finely chopped

2 Leeks chopped into 1cm rounds (optional)

A couple of Mace blades

1 onion - peeled and halved

1 bay leaf

Unsalted butter

White plain flour

Black peppercorns

500g of peeled chopped Potatoes - I like Desiree but Maris Piper or King Edward are good. If using Desiree careful not to over mash as they can go a bit sloppy.

Your choice of Vegetables to accompany this recipe.

    Method - Heat your oven to 180 degrees C.

    Gently warm the milk in a pan with the onion, bay leaf, mace and peppercorns (don’t let it boil).

    Place the Haddock fillet in a baking tin and pour the warm milk over it (including all of the other ingredients).

    Put the Haddock fillet in the oven for 10 minutes, skin side down, and baste it halfway through the cooking.

    Remove the fillet from the oven and carefully drain the milk off into a jug, keeping it to one side. 

    Flake the fillet off the skin and keep to one side.  You can dispose of the skin now.

    While the fillet is in the oven, boil the potatoes until they are soft. Drain them, put them back into the pan and then throw in a large knob of butter and a good splash of milk with plenty of salt and black pepper and mash it well. You need a firm mash - not too wet.  Keep it warm to one side.

    If you are using leeks, then very gently sweat them in a pan in butter or olive oil until they are completely soft.  Don’t let them char or brown. 

    Now make a roux with the milk (strained) set aside from poaching the haddock.

    Melt a large knob of butter (roughly about 50g) in a large thick-bottomed saucepan over a medium heat and once it has melted and bubbling, throw in roughly 50g of white flour and mix quickly. The mixture should resemble a thick paste and add a little more flour or butter to adjust accordingly. 

    Keep stirring over a gentle heat and start pouring in the milk, little by little, and don’t stop stirring.  The key to this step is to go slowly and only pour in small amounts of milk and maintain a gentle heat.  Don’t worry about lumps in the early stage as they even out eventually as the sauce thickens. After the roux has absorbed the milk and it is the right consistency, carefully turn up the heat and keep stirring until it is boiling. The sauce should be a thick creamy consistency - if you need to add more milk just top up as much as you need.

    Taste the roux to see how much salt and pepper you need to add.  You shouldn’t need much salt as the fish is smoked and the poaching liquid will have added enough salt.  Now add the prawns, parsley, leeks and flaked haddock, gently stirring so everything is coated well. 

    Pour into an appropriate pie dish and then spread the mashed potato on top.  Use the back of a fork to flatten it out, covering all corners of the pie dish.  

    Pop the pie dish into the oven at 180 degrees C for 15-20 mins until the top is starting to brown and then serve with vegetables of your choice.