Fish pie

There are few better ways to enjoy fresh seafood than a well made fish pie. A creamy wine sauce flavoured with leek and parsley mixed with whatever fish is available and best. Rich mashed potato finished with real butter and cream and topped with local Galway cheese baked till golden fish pie is really one of the great Irish foods.

There are no rules when it comes to what fish to use in a seafood pie. Mussels, prawns in their various forms, hake, cod, haddock, and salmon, any fish will do. Smoked fish is often used and will give a great depth of flavour, but it is better to use the smoked fish sparingly and use fresh fish as the main base of the dish. The choice of potato is also important as a fluffy light mashed potato will make the pie into a meal to be remembered. Fish pies can be constructed and served straight away but will hold well in the refrigerator for up to a day.

To make a seafood pie which will serve four the following recipe will work well:

For the mashed potato

600 grams potatoes, peeled and washed (use a floury variety such as roosters )

100 gram butter

50ml cream

50 ml full fat milk

Salt to season

Place the potatoes into a large pot and cover completely with cold water. Add a tablespoon of salt to the water and cover the pot with a pre-cut sheet of greaseproof paper. Allow the water come to a gentle simmer and cook until the potatoes are soft and cooked through. Drain off the water and allow stand for five minutes to allow the potatoes to dry out. Place the milk, cream, and butter into a saucepan and bring to the boil. Slowly pour the hot liquid over the potatoes while mashing ( you may not need all the liquid ), season the potatoes and place aside.

For the fish pie filling

150g salmon, cut into 2cm cubes

100g haddock, cut into 2cm cubes

10 large prawns

150g cod, cut into 2cm cubes

70g mussels, cooked and removed from their shells

Note there are no rules for the fish selection and the above selection is intended as a guideline.

50g butter

50g flour

50ml cream

150ml fish stock

100g leeks, sliced fine

25g parsley, chopped fine

30ml white wine

50g shallots, diced fine

40g Killeen Galway cheese, sliced thinly

Into a thick based saucepan place the butter and allow to melt without colour. Add the shallots and cook lightly. Add the flour and cook into a roux, do not allow the roux (flour butter mixture ) to brown.

Add the stock to the roux and whisk to form a sauce. Allow to cook while stirring with a wooden spoon, the sauce will thicken as it cooks.

Add the cream and white wine to the sauce. The sauce should be a smooth consistency with no lumps.

Add all the fish and the leeks to the sauce and allow to simmer until the fish is 80 per cent cooked; this will take around seven minutes. Finish the sauce with the chopped parsley.

To construct the pie

Place the seafood mix into a pie dish such as an earthenware serving dish. Pipe the potato onto the seafood and then top the potato with the cheese. Bake in a hot oven until the pie is golden and hot all the way through.

Serve and enjoy.

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