The ultimate fish pies recipe

By Marcus Wareing

  1. Makes 4 individual pies
  2. Takes 15 minutes to make, 45-50 minutes to cook
  3. Rating

Michelin-starred chef Marcus Wareing has created a fish pie recipe so wonderful that it's been given the lofty title of 'ultimate'. We'll eat our hats here at delicious. if you think otherwise.

tried and tested
The ultimate fish pies


  1. 500ml milk
  2. 200g hake fillet
  3. 200g raw king prawns, cut in half
  4. 100g smoked salmon trimmings

For the mash

  1. 900g (3 large) floury potatoes, such as King Edward, peeled and quartered
  2. 100ml milk
  3. 2 medium, free-range egg yolks
  4. 30g unsalted butter, softened

For the herb sauce

  1. 25g butter
  2. 2 tbsp plain flour
  3. 250ml chicken or vegetable stock
  4. 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
  5. Small bunch parsley, chopped
  6. Small bunch tarragon, chopped


  1. 1. Make the mash for the topping first. Place the potatoes in a large pan of cold, salted water, bring to the boil and simmer for 15 minutes or until cooked through. Drain, then mince with a potato ricer or mash finely. Mix in the milk, followed by the egg yolks and butter, then season and set aside.
  2. 2. Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan160°C/gas 4. Place 500ml milk into a saucepan and bring to a very gentle simmer. Add the hake and slowly poach for 4 minutes. Remove the fish, thickly flake, and reserve the milk.
  3. 3. Make the herb sauce by melting the butter in a medium saucepan over a moderate heat. Whisk in the flour and cook for a couple of minutes. Add 250ml of the reserved poaching milk (discard the rest) and whisk well. Stir in the stock, nutmeg and season to taste with salt and coarsely ground black pepper. Cook over a low heat until thickened, then remove from the heat, mix in the herbs and fold in the hake, prawns and smoked salmon. Divide the mixture between 4 x 400ml pie dishes then dollop the mash on top. Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until golden brown and piping hot.


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August 12

Good base recipe. I make this all the time, but a few things I change. I replace the hake with cod/haddock/sole/grouper/snapper (whatever white flaky sea fish is available here at the time), cut tarragon in half and add half in fresh thyme, replace the salmon with small scallops (we all hate salmon in my house...), use small cocktail shrimps instead, easier to handle than King prawns, and reuse the leftover poaching milk in the mash instead of throwing it away for a nicer creamy fishy taste. Sometimes I throw in a cup of grated cheddar in the sauce for cheesy taste, and sprinkle some parsley on the potatoes before baking. Yummy

Nth London Boy

March 30

Sorry, but Rick Stein's is better. It takes longer to make but is the best.

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