Fish pies with lettuce heart and herb salad


  • Serves 6 people

  • 1 kg mashing potatoes (about 7), such as Desiree, coarsely chopped
  • 200 ml hot milk
  • 650 ml fish stock
  • 40 ml dry vermouth
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, finely chopped
  • 250 gm skinless white fish, such as snapper, bones removed, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 175 gm each skinless salmon and skinless smoked cod, bones removed, cut into 3cm pieces
  • 150 gm small uncooked prawns, cleaned
  • 50 gm butter, coarsely chopped
  • 50 gm (⅓ cup) plain flour
  • 175 ml pouring cream
  • 2 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 anchovy fillet, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp each finely chopped dill, chervil and flat-leaf parsley
  • 2 tbsp fine fresh white breadcrumbs
  • 20 gm finely grated parmesan
  • Lettuce heart and herb salad
  • 4 baby gem lettuces, trimmed, quartered
  • 1 cup (firmly packed) mixed herbs, such as flat-leaf parsley, chives, wood sorrel and mustard cress
  • 120 ml canola oil
  • 2 tbsp cider vinegar
  • 2 tbsp Tewkesbury mustard (see note)
01   Place potato in a large saucepan, cover with cold water, bring to the simmer over medium heat and cook until tender (20-30 minutes). Drain well, return to pan, mash, add milk, mix until smooth, season to taste and set aside.
02   Meanwhile, preheat oven to 180C. Bring stock and vermouth to the simmer in a large saucepan, add onion and fennel and simmer until tender (6-7 minutes). Add all fish and prawns, simmer for 2 minutes, drain (reserve 700ml stock) and set aside.
03   Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat, add flour, stir until sandy-coloured (1-2 minutes), add reserved stock a little at a time, stirring continuously, then stir occasionally until reduced to a sauce consistency (15-20 minutes). Add cream and reduce until thick (10-12 minutes). Add mustard and anchovy, stir to combine, season to taste and cool slightly. Stir in herbs and fish and divide mixture among six 400ml ovenproof baking dishes. Top with potato, scatter with breadcrumbs and parmesan and bake until golden and warmed through (25-30 minutes).
04   Meanwhile, for lettuce heart and herb salad, combine lettuce and herbs in a large bowl. Whisk oil, vinegar and mustard in a separate bowl, season to taste, drizzle over lettuce and herbs and toss to combine. Serve with fish pies.
Note Tewksebury mustard, a blend of mustard and horseradish, gives a truly British taste to dressings. If it’s unavailable, substitute 1 tbsp jarred horseradish and 1 tbsp Dijon mustard.

This recipe is from the June 2012 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller.
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