British Fish Pie

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This is basically a seafood version of shepherd’s pie, with 3 types of seafood in a leek cream sauce. The three types used below – hot smoked salmon, cod, and shrimp – were chosen to provide a variety of flavors and textures. The same basic idea could be done with whatever seafood was available. I think scallops would be good in it. Hot smoked salmon or some other hot smoked fish could be used instead of home-smoked salmon.  This recipe is an adaptation from a posting on Serious Eats and will serve 6-8 people.


Hot Smoked Salmon


6 Tbs. sugar

1-1/4 tsp. Diamond Crystal kosher salt

1-1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

1-1/2 tsp. mustard powder

1-1/2 tsp. freshly grated lemon zest

12 oz. skin on salmon filet




9 oz. shrimp, peeled and deveined and cut into chunks if large

1/8 tsp. baking soda

3/8 tsp. kosher salt




12 oz. cod filet (or similar whitefish), cut into 1 inch chunks


Cream Sauce


4 Tbs. butter

2 medium leeks, white and light green parts only, washed and thinly sliced

1/3 cup all purpose flour

½ cup dry white wine

1 cup whole milk

1 cup heavy cream

¼ cup parsley, chopped

3 Tbs. chives, minced

2 filets of anchovy, chopped

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Mashed potatoes


2 lbs. potatoes


Whole milk

Salt and pepper to taste


First, prepare the hot smoked salmon. Mix together the sugar, salt, pepper, mustard powder, and lemon zest. Place the salmon filets in a glass baking dish and spread the sugar-salt mixture on top. Cover with plastic wrap and put in the refrigerator for 4-12 hours to cure. Preheat an electric box smoker to 200 degrees. Scrap off the cure and smoke the fish for 20-30 minutes until it reaches 125 degrees in the thickest part. Remove the salmon from the smoker, put on a plate and cover with foil to rest for 20 minutes. Then cut into chunks, removing the skin and any bones.

Second, prepare the shrimp. Mix together the baking soda and salt, and then mix with the shrimp. Refrigerate for 15 minutes to an hour. This step helps make the shrimp firm and juicy, but do not overdue the salt mixture. (In other words, be careful about how much shrimp you have and scale the salt up or down as necessary.)


Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Prepare the leek cream sauce: Melt the butter in a skillet over medium heat, and saute the leeks for about 5 minutes, until softened but not browned. Add the flour and saute for 2 minutes. Whisk in the wine, milk, and cream, making sure to deglaze the bottom of the pan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley, chives, and anchovy. Remove from the heat and salt and pepper to taste. Gently stir in the salmon, cod, and shrimp.

Make the mashed potatoes.

Butter a 3 quart casserole dish and put it on a baking sheet to contain any spills. Add the seafood in cream sauce, and top with the mashed potatoes. Run a fork through the top of the mashed potatoes to create grooves, which will brown in the oven. Bake for 30-40 minutes until the pie is bubbly and the top is golden brown.


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