About this recipe:This creamy fish pie tastes luxurious but is relatively low in fat. Pungent capers and gherkins have long been favourite flavourings in Britain and bring piquant contrast to the mild, comforting tastes and textures of fish, eggs and potato.
For the filling
2 large eggs
350g (12 oz) coley, whiting or haddock fillets
400ml (14 fl oz) skimmed milk
1 bay leaf
5 black peppercorns
1 blade of mace
25g (1 oz) butter
1 small leek, finely sliced
2 tablespoons plain flour
1 tablespoon capers, chopped
4 small gherkins, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1 tablespoon lemon juice
For the topping
900g (2 lb) floury potatoes, peeled and chopped
85g (3 oz) low-fat cottage cheese
4 tablespoons skimmed milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
55g (2 oz) Cheddar or Lancashire cheese, grated
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Cook the eggs in simmering water for 10 minutes, then drain and leave in fresh, cold water until cool enough to handle.
Meanwhile, put the fish in a large saucepan. Add the milk, bay leaf, peppercorns and mace and bring to the boil. Cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes.
Strain the milk into a measuring jug, discarding the bay leaf, peppercorns and mace. Set the fish aside to cool briefly.
Cook the potatoes in boiling, salted water for 20-25 minutes or until tender. While the potatoes are cooking, shell the hard-boiled eggs, then rinse well and pat dry. Chop and set aside. Flake the fish into chunks, discarding any remaining bone and skin, and place in a large mixing bowl.
In the same saucepan in which you cooked the fish, heat the butter until melted, then add the leek. Cook gently for 5 minutes, stirring often, until tender. Stir in the flour and continue cooking for 2-3 minutes over a medium heat.
Gradually add the reserved milk, stirring to give a smooth sauce. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat and simmer, stirring often, for 10-12 minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside.
To make the topping, drain the cooked potatoes, return them to the pan and mash thoroughly. Using a wooden spoon, beat in the soft cheese and milk. Add salt and pepper and continue beating until light and fluffy.
Heat the oven to 200°C (400°F, gas mark 6). Gently stir the eggs, fish, capers, gherkins, parsley and lemon juice into the sauce. Add salt and pepper to taste, then transfer to an ovenproof dish, about 30cm (12in) long. Top with the mashed potato and sprinkle with the grated cheese. Bake for 25 minutes until golden. Serve with roast tomatoes and a watercress salad.