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How to make fish pie

Fish baked in a creamy leek sauce with a crunchy topping

By House & Garden | July 26, 2021 | Recipes

A classic fish pie recipe is a universal favourite and easy fish recipe, but it takes time to execute all the different stages: poaching fish, making a white sauce, and peeling and mashing potatoes. In this quick version, the fish is not pre-cooked but is baked in a creamy leek sauce and topped with a cheese-and-breadcrumb layer. If you like, swap 150g of the haddock for a similar quantity of little queen scallops.


40g butter

2 leeks, washed, trimmed and finely sliced

100ml dry white vermouth

2 tablespoons anchovy sauce

1 tablespoon finely chopped tarragon

350ml crème fraiche

500g salmon fillet, skinned and boned

300g haddock, cod or pollack fillet, skinned and boned

300g undyed smoked haddock, skinned and boned

50g fresh breadcrumbs

50g Gruyère, grated

To serve:

Jersey royals and wilted spinach


Melt the butter in a saucepan and add the leeks and vermouth. Cook over a low to moderate heat for 10-15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Take off the heat and then stir in the anchovy sauce, tarragon and crème fraiche. Taste and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Cool a little.

Heat the oven to 200°C/fan oven 180°C/mark 6. Cut the fish into 2cm pieces and place in a wide gratin dish. Pour over the leek sauce. Mix the breadcrumbs with the grated cheese and scatter over the fish. Cook in the oven for 40 minutes, until the centre feels piping hot.

To drink: A full, rounded, dry white, such as Pinot Gris from Alsace, or a Chardonnay, especially from Mâcon, Limoux or the southern hemisphere: Paul Cluver Chardonnay 2013 from South Africa.

This originally appeared on House & Garden UK

Recipe by Caroline Barty; photograph by Yuki Sugiura; food preparation and styling by Aya Nishimura; table styling by Alexander Breeze; wine recommendations by Joanna Simon.