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Ultimate Fish Pie
450 ml Milk
1 Bay leaf
Few black peppercorns
1 sm Onion; roughly chopped
1 kg White fish fillets; such as cod, coley, pollack or ling
175 g Cooked peeled large prawns
4 tb Chopped fresh herbs; (parsley, chives, chervil, tarragon)
100 g Unsalted butter
2 lg Shallots; finely chopped
175 g Button mushrooms; sliced
50 g Plain flour
150 ml Double cream
1/4 Lemon; pips removed
1 kg Potatoes; cut into chunks
2 tb Wholegrain mustard
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Preheat the oven to 200C/400 degrees F/Gas 6.
1 Place the milk in a sauté pan with the bay leaf, peppercorns and onion. Bring to a simmer and cook gently for a couple of minutes.
2 Set aside for at least 10 minutes to allow the flavours to infuse. Add the fish to the infused milk and poach for 5 minutes or until just tender. Remove from the heat and leave to cool, then lift out the fish and roughly flake the flesh, discarding any skin and bone.
3 Place in a large bowl with the prawns and herbs. Strain the poaching milk into a jug. Melt half the butter in a pan and fry the shallots for 5 minutes to soften.
Add the mushrooms and cook for a few minutes until tender, then stir in the flour and cook for a minute or so, stirring constantly. Remove from the heat and gradually add the poaching milk. Season, return to the heat and simmer for a few minutes. Keep stirring until thickened.
5 Stir in half of the cream and add a good squeeze of lemon, then fold into the fish mixture and season. Pour into a buttered 25cm/10in pie dish and set aside to allow a skin to form.
6 Place the potatoes in a pan of boiling salted water, cover and cook for 15-20 minutes until very tender. Drain, return to the pan to dry out and then mash until smooth.
7 Beat in the remaining butter and cream and the mustard. Season to taste. Carefully spread over the fish mixture and pull a fork across the top to make a wavy-line pattern. Bake for 30-40 minutes until bubbling and lightly golden. Serve hot.