Decadent fish pie - Gary Townsend's weekend recipe

Fish Pie  Photograph: Alan Donaldson
Fish Pie Photograph: Alan Donaldson

Decadent is not a likely phrase to describe a fish pie, certainly not the ones served up in my school canteen as a boy, but this one is rather special, and combines some of my favourite Scottish seafood into one, delicious dish all the family can enjoy.

Ingredients: Serves 4

1 x onion, peeled and finely chopped

2 tbsp. olive oil

50g butter

1 tsp. dried thyme

3 tbsp. dry vermouth or dry white whine

4 tbsp. plain flour

250ml fish stock (a stock cube is fine)

150ml whole milk

100g double cream

3 tbsp. fresh parsley

100g skinless salmon

200g skinless halibut

200g scallops

150g raw king prawns

150g mussels (shelled)

1 tbsp fresh lemon juice

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the mashed potato topping:

700g Maris Piper potatoes, peeled

65g butter, cubed

50ml hot milk

2 egg yolks, whisked

75g gruyere cheese, grated


Preheat the oven to gas mark 6/200°C/Fan 180°C.

You will need a shallow (2 litre) pie dish.

Start by making the mashed potato topping. Peel the potatoes, cut into cubes and cooking in salted water until tender. Drain and push through a potato ricer, or mash until smooth, adding butter and hot milk until well incorporated. Allow to cool slightly, then stir in the whisked egg yolks. Season well and put to the side.

Sauté the onion in the oil, butter and dried thyme for about 5 minutes until soften. Add the alcohol, then cook for 5 minutes until the liquid has reduced down.

Add the flour stirring constantly and cook for a minute or so. Then gradually add the stock (which should be hot), stirring with a wooden spoon until smooth. Boil for 5 minutes until reduced by 1/3. Add the milk, lower the heat and simmer for a few minutes. Season well, then add the cream and parsley.

Meanwhile, cut the salmon and halibut into bite-sized chunks and scatter in the pie dish with the scallops, mussels and prawns. Add the lemon juice and seasoning and pour over the sauce, mixing well.

Spread the mashed potato on top and fluff up with a fork. Scatter the grated cheese and put the pie immediately in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to gas mark 4/ 180°C/fan 160°C and bake for another 20 minutes.

Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving.

Gary Townsend is head chef at One Devonshire Gardens by Hotel du Vin, Glasgow. See or phone 0141 378 0385 to book.

Twitter @Chefgtownsend

Instagram- @chef.g.townsend