salmon fish pie with spinach

Lindsey Bareham

I can be very lazy when it comes to fish pie but making it lovingly, by seasoning the milk for the sauce, adding cream and hard-boiled eggs with a crusty, cheesy finish, is well worth the effort. This version was inspired by an outstanding fish pie at newly opened Parsons, a modest yet clever revamp of once trendy Diana’s Diner in Covent Garden.

serves 2-3, prep 30 min, cook 45 min

500g potatoes
2 eggs
50g butter
400ml milk
1 small onion
4 black peppercorns
1 bay leaf
1 tbsp flour
2 tbsp thick cream
3 fillets salmon
100g baby spinach
4 tbsp finely grated Emmental
2 tbsp fresh breadcrumbs

Peel and boil evenly-chunked potatoes in salted water until tender. Drain. Melt 25g butter in 75ml milk in the potato pan. Mash the potatoes in the buttery milk (I pass the potatoes through a mouli-legumes) and beat together making a stiff mash.

Meanwhile, halve, peel and finely chop the onion. Place in a pan with the peppercorns, bay, remaining milk and a pinch salt. Simmer for 10 min. Cover and leave for 10 min. Melt the remaining 25g butter in medium pan over medium-low heat. Stir in the flour until smooth. Add the strained milk and the cream, beating/whisking until smooth. Season to taste.

Boil the eggs for 9 min. Crack all over, peel and chop. Cut the fish in big chunks. Arrange in a single layer in a gratin-style dish. Add chopped egg and spinach. Pour over the hot sauce. Cool slightly then add dollops of mash, using a fork to spread and swirl. Mix the cheese and breadcrumbs and scatter over the top. Bake at 200C/gas 6 for 35 min or until crusty and bubbling round the edge.