Ahh, fish pie – such a family fave. In the past, waaaaay back when I was a bit of a cookery sadist, I used to make such a faffy fish pie. It was pre kids, when I had so much TIME! I used to infuse the white sauce with a clove studded onion for gawd’s sake! But now I have two little angels in my life called Arthur and Beatrix I am on a mission to make all meals as easy and painless as possible – but they still have to be delicious! We are eating a lot of mash topped, fish in a béchamel sauce type pies at the mo’. But I am going the whole hog a lot less, i.e. I don’t make it a full on fish pie with several different types of fish in. Often they have just one fish, which makes it cheaper, along with a veggie like spinach or broccoli or even egg (I’ll post my haddock and egg pie with a leek and mash topping very soon!).
This pie went down SO well with the kids. They didn’t even pick out the spring onion from the champ topping or – get this – the spinach from the pie! WHAT?! I KNOW! #WINNING
This little beauty makes good use of my microwave white sauce – I literally never make a béchamel using the old, roux-based, pan method now. I don’t see the point, when this is JUST as good. The only thing that is a wee faff is the mash. Feel free to just do plain mash, but the cheesy champ does make it really tasty. Is that just me that hates making mash? No one else seems to think it’s that bad. That said, I tried a new way of mashing on this occasion – I used my electric whisk a la Delia (that’s how she does it). OK, so it doesn’t get every last lump out, as a potato ricer does, but it’s quicker and the whisk attachments aren’t as annoying to wash up! A plain old masher is probably just as effective but for some reason we don’t have one.
So, try this pie out and let me know what your family thinks – I have a feeling they will love it.
If you want, try lightly smoked salmon fillets in this. But normal salmon fillets are perfectly good if you can’t get them. It’s also good with smoked haddock!
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 30 minutes
Total time: 55 minutes
For the fish:
4 salmon fillets, skinned and cut into chunks
Salt and pepper
For the white sauce:
500ml whole milk
Salt and pepper
Teaspoon of Dijon mustard
Large handful of spinach
For the cheesy champ:
- First, get your mash on. Boil the potatoes until cooked, about 20 minutes.
- Whilst they are cooking, cook the spring onions in the butter. They’ll take about 10 minutes to get nice and soft.
- When the potatoes are done, drain them and mash however you like. Add the milk to the spring onions to heat through. Add the warm milk and buttery spring onions picture to the mash and mix well, adding the cheese too.
- Preheat the oven to 180C.
- Simply microwave the milk, flour and butter in a suitable jug or bowl for 7-10 minutes on high. Whisk every minute until it thickens and you have a perfect, smooth sauce. Season – add little nutmeg if you have it – and add the mustard, and also the spinach so it wilts in the hot sauce.
- Cut the chunks of salmon up and place in a large baking dish. Add the sauce and mix a little. Top with the champ.
- Bake for 30 minutes until brown on top.
- Serve with veggies – my kids enjoyed baby sweetcorn and sugarsnap peas with theirs.