( SERVES 6 )
Photo by Tam West
This luxurious pie is good enough for a dinner party. Choose fish that is at its freshest on the day.
- Boil potatoes in lightly salted water until tender. Drain and dry off over the heat then mash or pass through a potato ricer or mouli. Beat in milk and butter. Set aside.
- Slice fennel bulbs very thinly (a mandolin is good here), toss in the olive oil and place in a small saucepan. Cook until soft and lightly coloured. Season and set aside.
- Preheat the oven to 190C. Well butter a medium-sized ovenproof dish (about 25cm square and 5cm deep), or you could use 6 individual dishes.
- Heat wine and fish stock in a wide heavy-based saucepan and place fish in the hot liquid. Poach gently for no more than 2 minutes, it should be undercooked. Remove fish and set aside, pour liquid into a jug.
- Using the same saucepan, melt the butter and stir in the flour. Cook roux over medium heat until lightly golden. Add fish liquid and cook until it thickens, it will be a thick sauce. Add the double cream and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Chop reserved fennel fronds and stir through
- Divide the fish into chunks and gently stir through the sauce with the prawns. Place in the dish and scatter over cooked fennel slices. Spoon over the mashed potato and spread out using a fork or spatula. Sprinkle over the grated parmesan. Place in the oven and bake for 25 minutes until hot and bubbling around the edges. Serve with a simple green salad on side plates.
Make it different
- Use a mixture of potato and kumara for the topping.
- Add vegetables and herbs — celery, spinach, corn and peas.
- Add capers and/or gherkins.