A lovely rich and creamy French fish pie topped with boiled eggs and potato served with buttery peas.


  • 1 small onion, thickly sliced

  • 2 cloves

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 600ml/1 pint milk

  • 300ml/10fl oz double cream

  • 450g/1lb cod fillet or haddock, skin on

  • 225g/8oz undyed smoked cod or haddock fillet

  • 4 eggs

  • 100g/4oz butter

  • 45g/1¾oz plain flour

  • 5 tbsp chopped flatleaf parsley

  • freshly grated nutmeg

  • 1.25kg/2½lb peeled floury potatoes such as Maris Piper or King Edward

  • 1 egg yolk

  • salt

  • freshly ground white pepper

  • For petit pois a la francaise-

  • 25g/1oz butter

  • 2 leeks, finely sliced

  • 2 Little Gem lettuces, each cut into 6 wedges through the root

  • 450g/1lb frozen petit pois

  • 150ml/5fl oz water

  • 1 teaspoon beurre manié


  • 1.

    Stud a couple of the onion slices with the cloves. Put the onion slices in a large pan with the bay leaf, 450ml/15fl oz of the milk, the cream, cod and smoked fish. Bring just to the boil and simmer for eight minutes.

  • 2.

    Lift the fish out on to a plate and strain the cooking liquor into a jug. When the fish is cool enough to handle, break it into large flakes, discarding the skin and any bones.

  • 3.

    Sprinkle it over the base of a shallow 1.75 litre/3 pint ovenproof dish.

  • 4.

    Hard-boil the eggs for eight minutes, then drain and leave to cool. Peel them, cut into chunky slices and arrange on top of the fish.

  • 5.

    Melt 50g/2oz of the butter in a pan, add the flour and cook for one minute.

  • 6.

    Take the pan off the heat and gradually stir in the reserved cooking liquor.

  • 7.

    Return it to the heat and bring slowly to the boil, stirring all the time. Leave it to simmer gently for ten minutes to cook out the flour.

  • 8.

    Remove from the heat once more, stir in the parsley and season with nutmeg, salt and white pepper. Pour the sauce over the fish and leave to cool. Chill in the fridge for one hour.

  • 9.

    Boil the potatoes for 15-20 minutes. Drain, mash and add the rest of the butter and the egg yolk. Season with salt and freshly ground white pepper. Beat in enough of the remaining milk to form a soft, spreadable mash.

  • 10.

    Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6. Spoon the potato over the filling and mark the surface with a fork. Bake for 35-40 minutes, until piping hot and golden brown.

  • 11.

    To make petit pois a la franciase - melt the butter in a large, shallow pan, add the leeks and cook gently for two minutes until soft. Add the quartered lettuce hearts and turn them over in the melted butter. Add the peas, water and ½ teaspoon of salt, cover and simmer for ten minutes until the vegetables are tender. Then stir in the beurre manié and leave to simmer for one minute. Finally, season to taste and serve.

Metric Converter

Tell us what you think in the comments below


Sign Out

Click to Rate

Join the Conversation

Please note, LifeStyle cannot respond to all comments posted in our comments feed. If you have a comment or query you would like LifeStyle to respond to, please use our feedback form.

4 4 4 4 4
Average Rating
0 comments • 3 ratings