Saturday, 31 January 2015

Tomato Fish Pie

My middle child has a real aversion to creamy, white sauces which unfortunately means that there are several dishes that I don't make at the moment. I can sympathise - he is a miniature version of me, and I would be sick as a child if anyone tried to make me eat anything which was too heavy on the dairy. How things have changed!

Normally I would make a fish pie with a white sauce, but tonight I decided to try using a tomato sauce. I used a sauce that was packed with vegetables, but had been liquidised till smooth. If you are short of time, just use a shop-bought sauce. I would have added chopped fresh parsley to the sauce as well, if I didn't suspect it would send him running for the hills!

We ate this with sprouts fried with bacon, but only because this was what was in the fridge. Spinach would be a lovely accompaniment, as would broccoli, runner beans or peas.



  • Approx. 340g fish pie mix (salmon, smoked haddock and cod, dice into 2-3 cm cubes - you can add prawns or vary the fish)
  • 1 large carrot, diced
  • 1 large onion, diced
  • 1 stick celery, diced
  • 2 x 400g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed or finely chopped
  • 1 tsp dried mixed herbs (oregano, thyme, rosemary)
  • 1 red chilli
  • Olive oil for frying
  • 1/2 tsp red wine vinegar
  • 3-4 large, floury potatoes such as maris piper
  • A few tablespoons of sweetcorn kernels (tinned or fresh is fine)
  • 30-40g butter
  • A splash of milk
  • Salt and pepper to season
Serves 4-5



  • Make the tomato sauce. Add the olive oil to a large, heavy-based saucepan and heat very gently
  • Add the crushed garlic and let it bubble gently for a minute to infuse the oil. Do not  let the garlic catch and burn
  • Add the diced onions and increase the heat to moderate. Stir the onions in the oil for a minute or two until glossy, then add the carrots and celery. Stir for a further minute or two, then add the tinned tomatoes, red wine vinegar, mixed herbs and 6-8 good turns of the pepper mill. Mix well and bring to a simmer
  • Using a knife or skewer, poke a couple of holes into the chilli and place it in the tomato sauce. Cover and simmer for 45 minutes

  • While the sauce is simmering, make the mashed potato. Peel the potatoes and cut into 3-4 cm dice. Place in a pan and cover with cold water
  • Bring the water to the boil, then boil gently for 15-20 minutes, or until the potatoes are soft
  • Drain the potatoes and return to the pan. Mash the potatoes roughly, then add the butter, milk and salt and pepper to taste. Continue to mash until smooth

  • Remove the chilli from the sauce and liquidise until smooth
  • Add the sweetcorn kernels and mix into the sauce

  • Pre-heat the oven to 190 degrees fan. Place the fish pie mix into a baking dish, then pour over the tomato sauce (you will have made more than you need, aim for the sauce to only just reach the top of the fish). Mix the fish and sauce together, then arrange evenly in the base of the dish
  • Using a tablespoon, place the mash on top of the fish. Start from the outside, working your way to the centre of the dish (this will stop the sauce from spilling over the sides of the dish) until the mash is heaped fairly evenly over the fish
  • Using a fork, score and roughen up the surface of the mash to get a lovely crunchy topping
  • (Optional) Add a couple of dots of butter or grated cheese over the top of the mash
  • Place in the oven and cook for 40 minutes until the fish is cooked through
  • Serve with green vegetables, simply cooked

Tomato Fish Pie

Tomato Fish Pie with Stir-Fried Sprouts and Bacon