Lindsey Bareham’s fish pie with lemon mash

Variations on fish pie are endless but my latest favourite has a sloppy, buttery potato topping, more like pommes purée than British mash. It crusts lightly, lavishly at the edges and contributes a pleasing lemony, softness that mingles with a tangy, subtly cheesy sauce and chunks of smoked haddock and cod.

Serves 2, generously
20 min
45 min


  • 600g large floury potatoes
  • 75g butter
  • 350ml milk
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 2 fillets cod or haddock
  • 1 fillet naturally smoked haddock
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 100g sheep’s milk cheese

Peel, chunk, rinse and boil the potatoes in salted water. Drain. Melt 50g butter in 100ml milk in the potato pan, return the potatoes and mash until smooth (I use a mouli-legumes). Beat in the lemon juice. Slice the fish off its skin in one fell swoop: hold the tail-end skin as you press down and push the knife forward between the skin and the fish. Cut the skinned fillets into big chunks and place in a one-and-a-half litre gratin dish. Season with salt and pepper.

Melt 25g butter in a small pan, stir in the flour until smooth. Add the remaining milk slowly, whisking to avoid lumps, and simmer for 4-5 min to cook the flour. Stir in the mustard, half the grated cheese and season to taste. Pour the sauce over the fish. Heat the oven to 200C/gas 6. Spoon on the mash and make swirls with a fork. Add remaining cheese. Bake for 30-40 min until crusty and bubbling round the edge.