How To Make The Perfect… Fish Pie

By Jonathan Hatchman, Food Editor, @TLE_Food

With winter well on its way, one of the most ideal dishes is a rich, comforting and warming fish pie. Not only is it an absolute classic, it is also relatively simple to prepare, as demonstrated with this week’s recipe from Bel and the Dragon – a group of country inns in Southern England. Infused with sorrel and petit pois, using hake, sea trout, prawns and brown shrimp and topped with golden mashed potato; here’s a simple step by step guide to recreate the dish at home.


Serves Four

Hake, sea trout, prawns & brown shrimp, 500g

Sorrel, 20g, separated into leaves & stalks

Petits pois, 120g

Small onion, 1

Spring onions, a bunch

Fish stock, 600ml

Bay leaf, 1

Double cream, 550ml

Potatoes, 1kg, peeled

Butter, 100g

Milk, 50g

Egg yolk, 20g

Salt & pepper, to taste


Peel, finely dice and soften a small onion in a large pan with a little olive oil. Add the fish stock, sorrel stalks and bay leaf then bring to a boil. Dice the fish into large chunks and simmer for five minutes, then lift out with a slotted spoon and cool.

Bring the fish stock to a boil and reduce by half, add 500ml of double cream then strain the sauce and season. Allow the sauce to cool then add the chopped spring onions, sorrel leaves, petits pois and gently fold in the fish. Pour either into a large pie dish or individual ramekins.

Peel and cut the potatoes into even-sized pieces. Cook in boiling salted water for about 15 minutes until soft, then drain and return to the pan over a gentle heat to remove any excess moisture. Using an old-fashioned masher or a potato ricer, thoroughly mash the potatoes. Mix butter, milk, 50ml cream and egg yolk into the mashed potato until soft enough to spread over the fish mixture. Season and pipe or gently fork to cover the fish.

Pre-heat the oven to 180C and bake for 40 minutes until golden and bubbly.

Further information on Bel and the Dragon and their various locations can be found at

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