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Taste of Adnams - Fish Pie

By Nick Claxton-Webb, also posted in News on

Cheddar and Mustard Glazed Fish Pie

feeds 8

In the current climate there are still some shortages in supermarkets and supply can be patchy.  However, so far, fish has been in good supply. Particularly from the freezer sections. The fish I have used for this recipe was all purchased from my local supermarket. For me, smoked haddock or cod, fresh Salmon, and a fresh white fish such as Cod, Haddock or Hake are key fish pie ingredients.  Beyond that king prawns, kiln roasted salmon, smoked mackerel, mussels, or scallops are all great additions. Depending of course on your budget and availability. I made this recipe from what they had in store on the day.  Flexibility is crucial as shopping lists are currently “live” documents.

Let’s start with the sauce…

2 diced onions

2 sliced and washed leeks

2 cloves of garlic, minced

1 pinch of saffron

2 sprigs of thyme, picked

1 glass of white wine

1 tin of sweetcorn, drained

600mls double cream

Salt and pepper

20g butter


In a medium sized pan melt the butter and when foaming add the leeks, onions, thyme and garlic. 

Sweat these off for 2 minutes.

Add the wine, sweetcorn and saffron and reduce the liquid by half on a high heat.

Pour in all but 2cm of the double cream and bring to the boil.  It will thicken almost immediately.

Turn off the heat, season and set aside.

For added texture and flavour I like to dot the top my pie with these little confit new potatoes…

500g new potatoes

50g salted butter, diced

1 splash rapeseed oil

1 large pinch Maldon salt

3 sprigs thyme


Preheat the oven to 180⁰C.  we will be using the oven on the same settings throughout the recipe. 

Slice the potatoes in half lengthways and place in a saucepan. Cover with cold water and season with salt.

Bring the pan to the boil and simmer for one minute.

Strain the potatoes through a colander and place into a mixing bowl. Add a splash of rapeseed oil and season with the Maldon salt.

Place an oven safe heavy bottomed frying pan on the stove on a high heat.  Add the potatoes cut side down and allow to colour. Add the thyme and the butter and transfer to the oven for 10 minutes until softened and well coloured.

Set aside and allow to cool in the butter.


Now for the buttery mustard mash…

1.2 kilo white potatoes, peeled and cut evenly

250g salted butter, diced

2 teaspoons Dijon mustard

The remainder of the double cream from the sauce

Salt to taste


Place potatoes into a large saucepan and cover with cold water. Season with salt and bring to the boil. Simmer until a knife slides into one of the potatoes without resistance. Strain the potatoes through a colander and return to the pan when well drained.

Add the butter, mustard, remainder of the cream and mash. Season with the salt. I never add black pepper to mashed potatoes as it can make them look grey and unappealing. The same applies to white sauces. It should be noted that pepper is a flavouring and not a seasoning in that it changes the flavour rather than enhancing or boosting it. Ground white pepper can be used instead but beware it is hotter than black pepper.

Set the mash aside to cool slightly while we deal with the fish.


The fish…

400g skinned smoked haddock portions, diced

800g fresh salmon side, skinned and diced

800g Cod, diced

1 splash of rapeseed oil

Salt and pepper


In a mixing bowl add the fish and a splash of oil. Lightly season and spread out onto a non-stick oven tray. Ensure the tray has a lip as you will lose a moisture as the fish roasts in the oven. Roast in the oven for 7 minutes. Set aside and allow to cool. 

When using frozen fish there can be a large amount of water added to the fish as well as a glaze which is there protect it in storage. This added water becomes apparent when you roast the fish like this.  If you were to poach the fish directly in the sauce you would end up with a watery mess. By cooking and setting the protein like this the fish will also better maintain integrity of shape in our pie.


To finish putting the pie together…

225g bag of frozen peeled tiger prawns, defrosted

250g grated Cheddar cheese

30g Panko breadcrumbs

1 bunch washed and chopped parsley

To assemble you can use individual pie dishes or a family sized serving dish. We do both as we have different dietary requirements to cater for. This means I can have one without cheese and my son can have one without prawns or cheese.

Ladle a base layer of sauce into your dish. A good covering but no more than about one fifth of the depth.  Then sprinkle over the cooked fish and the raw, defrosted, king prawns. Ladle over more of the sauce. Covering the fish but leaving a third of the dish volume for your potato topping.  Keep the fish cubes as whole as possible to avoid the fish being completely broken up. This allows you to see and taste the different fish inside the pie.

The mash should by now be still very warm rather than hot. I like to layer the mash with a spoon in small pieces and layer it up with some of the grated cheese. To finish, I like to dot the top with the little confit potatoes, cheddar cheese and a good sprinkle of panko. Panko helps to soak up the fat from the cheese and make the top crispy.

Clean the edges of the serving dish with a damp cloth. Any cheese or sauce on the edges of the dish will burn before the main body is cooked.

Pop the dish onto an oven tray and into our hot oven. Bake until the top is golden. 30-35minutes. The sauce will start to escape a little when it gets hot so it is important to cook it on a tray. The tray is much easier and safer to handle whilst removing from the oven than a smaller ceramic pot.

Sprinkle with a little of the chopped parsley and enjoy with a nice green salad or some seasonal vegetables.  Norfolk and Suffolk asparagus is now in full swing and amazing in quality. I have used asparagus, spring greens, sprouting broccoli and confit Chantenay carrots. 

An absolute seaside classic. All about aroma and flavour.


Try the Cheddar and Mustard Glazed Fish Pie with our Adnams White Burgundy. The weight and texture of this complex Chardonnay will stand up to, and complement the big flavours in this lovely Fish Pie.


Nick Claxton-Webb