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If you love the bounty of the sea, a good smoked fish pie is hard to go past. Flaky fish in creamy sauce, packed with veges and topped with a buttery kumara mash all sounds wonderfully good to me.
Kumara Mash Topping
1.2 kilograms red kumara, peeled and chopped
4 tablespoons butter
½ cup cream
½ cup milk
2 tablespoons butter
5 tablespoons plain flour
1½ cups milk
¼ cup white wine
4 tablespoons finely chopped chives
salt and pepper for seasoning
1 tablespoon olive oil
knob of butter
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
1 onion, finely diced
1 carrot, peeled and finely diced
1 large leek, quartered and sliced
¼ cup cream
350 grams white fish, cubed (I used Tarakihi)
1 cup frozen peas
400 grams smoked fish, flaked
Parmesan cheese, for grating
Freshly chopped chives, for garnish
Large pie dish (I used a 30cm wide x 6cm high pie dish)
Prep time – 40 mins
Cooking time – 50 mins
Preheat oven to 180°C bake.
Topping: Place the chopped kumara in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10-12 minutes until tender. Drain the water from the saucepan, letting the steam escape so the kumara cools slightly. Add the butter, cream and milk and mash until smooth. Set aside.
White Sauce: Place the butter in a saucepan over a gentle heat until just melted. Use a wooden spoon to stir in the flour. Add the milk and wine, stirring continuously until well incorporated. Use a whisk to keep stirring while cooking over the heat until the sauce is thickened and smooth. It should finish thick and silky. Leave to cool slightly, mix in the chopped chives, season and set aside.
Filling: Place the olive oil and butter in a large casserole dish over a medium heat. Add the celery, onion, carrot, and leek and cook until softened and there is no residual moisture (about 12-15 minutes). Add the cream and white fish and cook gently for 5-10 minutes until the fish is just cooked through and the cream has reduced slightly. Fold through the peas and smoked fish, being careful not to break it up too much.
To assemble: Combine the white sauce with the filling mixture. Tip gently into the pie dish, then spoon the kumara mash evenly over the top, covering the filling. Grate over a layer of Parmesan cheese, drizzle with olive oil, then bake for 35-40 minutes until the pie is bubbling and the top is crunchy.
Once cooked, remove the pie and allow to cool for 10 minutes. Garnish with freshly chopped chives and serve with a nice garden salad and a glass of your favourite white wine.
Tip: Place a tray underneath the pie dish when you cook it to catch any filling that bubbles over and might otherwise burn on the bottom of your oven.