500 g (1 lb) cod fillets
425 ml (3/4 pint) milk
1 small onion, quartered
2 bay leaves
6 whole black peppercorns
1 kg (2 lb) potatoes
225 g (8 oz) packet frozen mixed vegetables
65 g (2 1/2 oz) margarine or butter
75 ml (3 fl oz) creamy milk
4 tablespoons snipped chives, or finely chopped spring onion tops
2 hard-boiled eggs, chopped
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
freshly ground black pepper
40 g (1 1/2 oz) plain flour
1 tablespoon tomato puree
3 tomatoes, sliced, to finish
1. Heat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas4.
2. Put the fish in an ovenproof dish and cover with the milk. Add the onion quarters, bay leaves, cloves and peppercorns. Cover with greaseproof paper and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes until the fish flakes easily.
3. Meanwhile, cook the potatoes in boiling salted water for 20 minutes until tender. Cook the frozen vegetables as directed on the packet, then drain.
4. When the fish is cooked, remove it from the dish and strain the cooking liquid into a jug. Increase the oven heat to 190°C (375°F) Gas 5.
5. Drain the potatoes and mash with 25 g (1 oz) margarine and the creamy milk. Beat in the chives.
6. Flake the fish into a bowl, removing any skin and bones. Stir in the mixed vegetables, the hard-boiled eggs and the parsley. Season well with salt and pepper. Put the mixture in a large saucepan.
7. Melt the remaining 40 g (1 1/2 oz) margarine gently in a separate saucepan and sprinkle in the flour. Stir over low heat for 2 minutes until straw-coloured, then remove from the heat and gradually stir in the reserved cooking liquid from the fish. Return to the heat, stir in the tomato puree and simmer, stirring constantly until the sauce is thick and smooth.
8. Pour the sauce into the fish mixture and fold gently to mix over low heat until heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning.
9. Turn the fish mixture into a buttered ovenproof dish. Spoon the mashed potato evenly over the top, level the surface and mark with a fork in a criss-cross pattern.
10. Put the fish in the oven for 20-30 minutes until heated through. Arrange the sliced tomatoes on the top, then place the pie under a heated grill for 5 minutes, to brown the topping. Serve very hot, straight from the dish.
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