Fish pie has been a staple of coastal communities for generations, but most common fish pie recipes of today focus on commercially popular fish such as cod. The problem is these fish are often the least sustainable and can be expensive to buy, particularly if you want good quality and sustainably-sourced fish. 
Traditionally, the fish pie was made simply by using whatever fish were available at the time, which is why I have written my version of a “day haulier” fish pie using fish which is not only more sustainable but also tastes amazing and is easily caught just of the coast of Devon and Cornwall. 
If you prefer, you can also swap in other species of fish; just ask me when buying off the boat what will go well together, and I can advise you on the best choices from the catch of the day. 


From the Adela 

500g monkfish 
500g gurnard 
300g plaice or bass 

Other ingredients 

1 medium onion – cut into wedges 
2 bay leaves 
75g of butter 
75g of plain flour 
140g of spinach 
700ml of milk 

For the fish pie topping 

1.5 kg approx. potatoes – Maris Piper ideally 
50g butter 
100g mature cheddar – or cheese of your preference 

The method for making the Adela fish pie 

Prepare fish – remove the skin and check for/remove any bones from the fish. 
Preheat your oven to 200° or 180° fan/gas mark 6. 
Using a large saucepan or deep-dish pan, place the fish and wedges of onion in then cover with the milk. 
Bring the milk/fish to a gentle simmer then remove from the heat and let sit in the hot milk for around 10 mins or until the fish is just cooked. 
Remove the fish from the milk: put the fish into a bowl and place to one side and keep the infused milk for use in the sauce. 
Make the mash and add cheese and butter, then season to taste and set aside. 
To make the sauce, melt the butter in a medium saucepan. Once melted, add the flour gradually and mix to make a roux. 
Once the roux is combined, add the infused milk a little at a time to create the sauce. Keep stirring throughout; this should take a few minutes and the sauce will thicken once it is ready. 
Add the spinach to the white sauce and cook gently for around 1–2 minutes, then remove from heat and season to taste. 
Put one third of the sauce into the bottom of your large oven proof dish. Add ½ of the fish flaking as you go. Then add another third of the sauce and the rest of the fish. Top the fish with the remaining sauce. 
Spoon the mash potato over the sauce and fish mix, starting from the edges and working your way inwards. Use a fork to create the peaks on the top of the mash so you get the nice crispy bits. 
Place in the oven and cook for 45 minutes or until the potato is golden brown and the sauce is bubbling. 
Serve as is, or with a side of your choice of veg. This recipe makes a large fish pie so is ideal for large family gatherings or a dinner party. Simply halve the recipe for a mid-week family dinner. 
Cheers ‘N’ Garn 
Tagged as: bass, gurnard, monkfish, plaice
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