When the weather turns cold and darkness starts creeping in before dinner time, comfort food becomes a treasure!
A variation of the shepherd’s and cottage pies this Irish Winter Fish Pie is my new absolute favorite in comfort food!
- ½ cup butter
- 1 large leek, cleaned, trimmed and thinly sliced
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, minced
- 2 cups whole milk
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 4 fresh bay leaves
- 1-pound white fish fillets such as cod or rock fish
- 8 ounces smoked salmon cut into bite size pieces
- 5 ounces peeled and cooked shrimps
- ½ cup frozen peas
- ½ cup frozen corn
- 3 large eggs
- 3 tbsp flour
- ½ cup cheddar cheese, grated
- 4 tbsp chopped parsley
- Lemon zest
- sprinkle grated nutmeg
- 2 pounds potatoes peeled and cut into large chunks
- Salt to taste
- ¼ cup milk
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 5 ounces cheddar cheese grated
Preheat the oven to 375°F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Grease a 2-quart baking dish, place it on the foil-lined baking sheet and set aside.
To make the topping: put the potatoes in a pot of salted water and bring to a boil. Boil until the potatoes are tender and drain. Mash the potatoes with the milk, sour cream, and cheddar cheese. Adjust seasoning with more salt, if needed. Cover and keep warm until needed.
To make the filling: Heat the milk and bay leaf to a simmer in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the white fish and poach for about 5 to 7 minutes or until it is cooked through and begins to flake. Carefully strain out the fish and set aside, breaking it up into large bite-size pieces. Discard the bay leaves but reserve the hot milk.
In a large pot add the butter or olive oil and heat over medium-high. Add the onions and leek to sauté until they begin to soften, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the garlic and cook another 2 minutes. Mix in the flour and stir to coat all of the mixture with it.
After another minute, gently begin whisking in the hot milk (from poaching the fish) and the heavy cream. Whisk until smooth and then simmer for about 5 minutes or until it thickens enough to coat the back of a spoon. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
Stir in the peas, corn, parsley, and lemon zest. Fold in the smoked salmon and poached white fish gently, then pour the mixture into the prepared baking dish.
Carefully top with the mashed potatoes, sealing in all the edges first (to prevent the filling from bubbling over the edges too much) and then cover the remaining filling with the remaining mashed potatoes. Use a fork to draw lines over the mashed potato topping to give it texture.
Bake the fish pie for 30 to 35 minutes or until the filling is bubbling and the topping starts to brown. At this point, you can broil the fish pie for an additional few minutes to brown it more, if desired.
Serve immediately and enjoy the warm comforting goodness!