I have a few loves about Autumn which make it my favourite season – the first is Jumpers , I’ve always loved big jumpers, warm and easy to wear, wrap with a scarf and usually there is no need for a coat, second are long walks looking for blackberries, followed by hot ports by the fire. And so Autumn has arrived, a drop in temperatures, a chill in the air and the mornings are dark now when I’m getting up.. that’ll change in a few weeks but for now It’s becoming a little harder to jump out at 6am.
One pot dinners conjure up Autumn food and this fish pie recipe is perfect to feed the family. I made it with Hake but you can use any fish you like, add prawns for indulgence but without is still a lovely filling meal. Full of the goodness of fish, use sweet potatoes or celeriac as a topping if you want to go even healthier.
700g fish, e.g. haddock, hake, monkfish, trout, skinned and boned
1 bay leaf
6 pepper corns
2 juniper berries
50g plain flour
1 tsp turmeric
Salt and freshly-ground black pepper
3 medium leeks, cleaned and sliced
200gr frozen peas
900g freshly mashed potatoes with lots of butter, salt and pepper
Oven at 200C
Place the milk, onion, bay leaf, juniper berry (optional of course) and pepper corns in a large saucepan and bring to a boil.
Reduce to simmer, add the fish and cook gently for about 3 minutes.
Remove the fish from the pan, allow to cool a little and flake into bite-sized pieces.
Meanwhile heat the oil in a pan on a medium heat, add the chopped leeks, season well and cook until soft and translucent about 10 minutes, stirring from time to time
For the sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan, then stir in the flour and turmeric.
Cook for 3 minutes, stirring all the time until golden brown and the flour is cooked out. Gradually stir in the fish cooking liquid , continue stirring until the mixture thickens and is smooth, season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat and allow to simmer gently for a few minutes.
Now add the fish to the sauce to and taste for seasoning.
Spoon a layer of leeks into a baking dish, spoon over the fish with sauce, sprinkle over the frozen peas and spread with the potatoes (Pipe over if you are in the mood for the extra work).
Tip into the oven for about 30 minutes until golden brown and heated through.