This is the ultimate fish pie

Ever since I saw the Hairy Bikers on TV earlier in the week making their “ultimate” fish pie, I’ve just had to have it.
So today I dedicated myself to re-creating what looked like the tastiest, most luxurious and indulgent fish pie ever seen.
First up the fish. On the programme the boys were lucky enough to visit a south Tyneside fish market and pick up £10 box of assorted truly fresh fish.
I called first at the local fishmonger to find nothing but rather tired looking previously frozen specimens. Ending up at a supermarket fish counter, I managed to get some fresh looking (sustainable) cod loin, a haddock fillet, smoked salmon fillet and some cooked tiger prawns.
Not quite the fresh haul from the north east but a step better than out of the freezer compartment. Onto the recipe. One of the things that appealed to me most about this recipe ws the saffron infused broth that the fish is blanched in. Yes it’s a bit of a fiddle making a broth but it was worth it giving both the fish and the sauce a deeper flavour.

The addition of emmental cheese into the mash and double cream into the sauce is probably a bit controversial in these January detox and diet obsessed days but why start the year in a self-induced misery of denial? Isn’t it bad enough that there’s no sunlight and it’s freezing cold?

As regular readers of this blog will know, I’ve long been a bit partial to a good fish pie and I think I can safely say that this recipe IS the ultimate fish pie. It was simply stunning. (
The picture doesn’t really do it credit. Any advice on photographing fish pie gratefully received.)
So thanks to the hairy bikers for this – and for putting northern food on the map in such a positive way with the programme this week.
Their message of support for everything from Bury black pudding to Lancashire hot pot is much appreciated and has seemingly provoked a buying surge in my village. The butcher was quick to point out today that the (High Peak) lamb cut I wanted was a middle neck rather than the cut held up on the show – apparently I hadn’t been the first into the shop for ingedients this weekend!
Let’s hope the unlikley culinary duo can do for the north what Rick Stein did for Padstow. If their fish pie recipe is anything to go by, it should be no problem.


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