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Sheekey's famous fish pie

Sheekey's famous fish pie

Any of you who have been to J Sheekey's in the West End will probably have succumbed to their unbelievably good fish pie. Here's the recipe from their cookbook J Sheekey Fish.

"Some people add lobster, prawns or peas to their pie" says their chef Tim Hughes. "We prefer this purer version."

Serves 4

200g cod fillet (or another white chunky fish such as halibut or monkfish), skinned and cut into rough 3cm chunks
200g salmon fillet, skinned and cut into rough 3cm chunks
200g smoked haddock fillet, skinned and cut into rough 3cm chunks
Half a small bunch of flat leaf parsley, chopped

For the sauce

50g unsalted butter
50g plain flour
125ml white wine
500ml fish stock
90ml double cream
1 tablespoon English mustard
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
Half a teaspoon anchovy essence
Half a lemon, juiced
Salt and ground white pepper

For the topping

1kg floury potatoes, cooked and dry mashed (e.g. King Edwards)
50g unsalted butter
50ml milk
Salt and ground white pepper
20g fresh white breadcrumbs
10g freshly grated parmesan

To make the sauce, melt the butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan over a low heat and gently stir in the flour. Gradually add the wine, stirring well. Slowly add the fish stock (a good-quality cube is fine) until you have a silky smooth sauce. Bring to the boil and simmer gently for 15 minutes. To finish, add the cream and briefly bring to the boil again. Stir in mustard, Worcestershire sauce, anchovy essence and lemon juice. (Add more mustard and Worcestershire sauce if you like it spicy.) Check seasoning.

Gently fold the fish and parsley into the hot sauce, and pour into a large pie dish, leaving a space of about 3cm from the top of the dish. Leave to cool, so the topping will sit on the sauce when piped.

Pre-heat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5. Mix butter and milk into the mashed potato until soft enough to spread over the fish mixture. Season. Pipe or gently fork to cover the fish.

Bake the fish pie for 30 minutes. Sprinkle over the breadcrumbs and cheese, and bake for a further 10 minutes until golden.

What to drink: A perfect excuse to bring out a Chablis or other good white burgundy or other luscious, creamy cool-climate chardonnay.

J. Sheekey's Fish by Tim Hughes and Allan Jenkins is published by Preface Publishing at £25. Photograph © Howard Sooley.

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