Smoked Fish Pie – the Ultimate Fish Pie

This is a traditional fish pie with a twist. Manuka smoked snapper fillet married with market fresh vegetables, in a white- wine cream sauce with a hint of Italian parsley,  all encased in a black and white sesame seed shortcrust pastry and baked to perfection. Wow.

Serves 4

200ml liquid fish stock , reduced by half to 100ml

1 tbsp white sugar

100ml white wine (buttery Chardonnay is ideal)

150ml full fat milk

150gm butter

100gm flour

50ml cream

Sea salt and freshly ground white pepper

Good handful Italian parsley, ½ chopped, ½ for garnish

1 tbsp Olive oil

100gm potatoes, precooked, peeled and diced

12 baby carrots, peeled and whole with a little green left on the end

100gm leek, finely diced

1 head broccolini, cut into small florets

500gm smoked snapper fillet, flesh only, broken into pieces

4 sheets of shortcrust pastry

1 egg, beaten with a little milk and cream

3 tbsp sesame seeds, mixture of black and white

  1. Preheat oven to 180-200ºC.
  2. Place fish stock, sugar and white wine into a medium-sized saucepan and reduce by half to three-quarters. This intensifies the flavour of the stock, providing a good base for the sauce. When stock is reduced, add milk and bring to a simmer.
  3. In a small saucepan make a runny roux by melting half the butter and whisking in flour a little at a time to avoid lumps forming.
  4. Add the roux a little at a time to the hot stock mixture until thickened to the consistency of a thick white sauce. Add cream, season to taste and add chopped parley.
  5. Heat a frying-pan with a little olive oil and a little more butter. Add potato, carrots, leek and broccolini and toss until glazed with the butter. Season. Do not overcook.
  6. Grease 4 individual-portion-sized pie dishes or ramekins with a little butter and olive oil. Into the dishes place vegetables and smoked snapper, layering alternately with the sauce for effect and for flavour. The ingredients can be heaped up in the pie dishes as they will be sealed with pastry.
  7. Cover dishes with pastry sheets and brush with beaten egg mixture. Sprinkle tops with black and white sesame seeds and garnish with leaves and fish made from pastry offcuts. Place a couple of air vents in the top of each pie.
  8. Place in oven and bake for 15-20 minutes, taking care not to brown the pastry too much.
  9. The pies are best enjoyed hot with a glass of your favourite white wine.

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