This is a simple fish pie for a family Friday supper. The spring onions are a nice contrast with the blandness of the fish. By “a bunch”, I mean of the slim ones you find in supermarkets. Serves 3 to 4.
Maincrop potatoes – 2 medium ones for each person
Large chunk of butter
Salmon fillets – about 350g
A dozen black peppercorns
A few scrapings of nutmeg
1tbsp flour – I used gluten-free
1 bunch spring onions, chopped
Peel the potatoes, cut them into smallish pieces (about 8 for a medium-sized potato), put them into cold water with about a tsp of salt, bring to a simmer, and simmer until soft. Drain, and mash – I use a potato ricer. Beat in the amount of butter you like, with salt to taste. If the mash coheres, you don’t need milk.
Put the salmon into a saucepan, pour over the milk, and throw in the peppercorns. Over a medium heat, bring to a simmer, and cook at a very gentle simmer for just a few minutes, or until the salmon has lost its raw pinkness. (You may want to cover the pan if the fish is not submerged – in this case, just leaving the fish to cook with the heat turned off will work.)
Lift out the fish with a slotted spoon. Remove the skin, and break up the fish into fork-sized pieces.
Strain the milk into a jug. Melt the butter in a non-stick, small saucepan over a gentle heat. Stir in the flour, and allow this roux to cook gently for a minute. Turn up the heat, and add the milk gradually, merging the roux and milk completely before adding the next batch. Keep adding milk (and more if necessary) until you have a thick sauce (which the onions and salmon will thin).
Mix the sauce, salmon, and spring onions, and tip into an oven-proof dish. Cover with the mash, and sprinkle the Parmesan on top.
Bake in a gas mark 6/200C oven for 10-15 minutes. You want to get the heat through the dish, but not to overcook the salmon. Brown the top under the grill.