…………..dsc_0192  It’s a nursery school favorite that has stuck with us far into what passes for adulthood.  There is simply nothing quite like the soothing comfort of a well made fish pie. Recent time spent on Arran reminded us just how much we enjoy this throwback.  Eschewing milk for wine in this recipe gives the dish a bit of an update from the traditional poached milk version.


  • 1 medium carrot, peeled and quartered lengthwise
  • ½ cup white wine
  • Large pinch salt
  • 1 bouquet garni (bay leaf, fresh thyme, parsley, celery and leek, tied together in cheesecloth)
  • 2 pounds baking potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, at room temperature, plus more for greasing pan
  • 8 ounces skinless cod fillets
  • 8 ounces skinless haddock fillets
  • 8 ounces skinless salmon fillets
  • ½ teaspoon powdered saffron or 1/2 teaspoon saffron threads steeped in 1 tablespoon boiling water
  • 1 cup light cream or as needed
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of mace
  • 5 ounces cooked, peeled shrimp
  • Freshly grated nutmeg


  1. In a deep covered skillet, combine carrot, wine, salt, bouquet garni and 1/2 cup water. Bring to a boil, turn off heat and set aside.
  2. Bring a pot of lightly salted water to a boil, and add potatoes. Cook until soft, and mash (preferably with a potato ricer) with 6 tablespoons butter. Set aside.
  3. Heat oven to 375 degrees. Put cod and haddock into skillet with carrot, cover, and bring to a simmer. Poach for 3 minutes. Transfer fish to a plate, and add salmon to skillet. Poach for 3 minutes, and transfer salmon to plate with cod and haddock. Discard carrot and reserve bouquet garni. Strain liquid into a measuring cup, add saffron and add enough cream to make 2 cups liquid.
  4. Place a saucepan over low heat, and melt remaining 2 tablespoons butter. Stir in flour and mace. Stir for a few minutes; remove pan from heat. Slowly stir in cream mixture, beating until smooth. Return pan to heat and add reserved bouquet garni. Stir until mixture is thickened, about 5 minutes.
  5. Butter a 9-inch-square baking pan, and distribute cooked fish evenly, breaking into large chunks as necessary. Scatter shrimp evenly in pan. Discard bouquet garni, and pour sauce over all.
  6. Spread mashed potato evenly over top, covering edges so sauce will not bubble over. Sprinkle nutmeg lightly over top of pie, and place pan on a baking sheet. Bake until filling is hot and potatoes are flecked with gold, 20 to 40 minutes. Serve hot.