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Fisherman’s Pie

Fisherman’s Pie
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Fisherman’s Pie

Christmas Eve – Feast of the Seven Fishes

The Feast of the Seven Fishes is an Italian-American celebration on Christmas Eve with various fish dishes.  The meal typically consists of seven different seafood dishes with the most popular dish being baccala (salted cod fish).  Fried smelts and calamari are also featured.

This year I decided to updated this tradition with a Fisherman’s Pie consisting of cod, scallops, lobster and shrimp.  These are also popular fish to have on Christmas Eve.  I never cared for smelts, so I will be leaving them out.

Fisherman’s Pie, also known as fish pie, is a classic British dish.  It is an oven baked dish with a white sauce made from the poaching liquid that the fish was poached in.  I used chopped onions in my poaching liquid.  However, sliced leeks are more traditional.  I am of the thought, use what is in the house.  Since I forgot to purchase leeks, onions are a perfect substitute.

Fisherman’s Pie traditionally uses Fish Stock and Pernod in the poaching liquid.  Unfortunately, I wasn’t able to find Pernod or Fish Stock in my small town and didn’t have time to make my own stock.  No worries.  I substituted chicken stock mixed with vegetable stock.  As a substitute for the Pernod, I used white wine and anise extract.  Since Pernod has an anise flavor, this worked just fine.  Plus, the chicken and vegetable stock provides another layer of flavor.

Fisherman's Pie Poaching Liquid
Poaching Liquid
Fisherman's Pie
Fish – Cod, Lobster, Scallops and Shrimp

The name Fisherman’s Pie came about because the topping is similar to a shepherd’s pie.  You can make your own mashed potatoes for the topping.  I typically save myself some time and use a store bought version.  Most already cooked mashed potatoes from the deli are thick and creamy.  If you use these, just add the cheddar cheese and a little freshly ground pepper.  Otherwise, you will need to make the mashed potatoes first.

Fisherman's Pie
Fisherman’s Pie

Serve this Fisherman’s Pie with a side dish of peas and you have a wonderful Finished Dish.

If you love this Fisherman’s Pie recipe, please leave a comment and let me know what you think.  If you made it, post your wonderful images on Instagram and tag me.  Don’t forget to subscribe and you will be emailed each time I post a new recipe.

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Cook's Taste Test, Yum!
Cook’s Taste Test, Yum!

Fisherman's Pie

December 15, 2019
: 5-6

A hearty oven baked fish dish with a white sauce made from the poaching liquid that the fish was poached in.


  • Poaching Stock
  • 32 ounces Chicken Stock
  • 16 ounces Vegetable Stock
  • ½ cup of white wine
  • 1 medium onion, medium chop
  • 2 small fennel bulb, sliced + fennel fronds
  • 2 celery ribs, cut in half
  • 2 carrot, cut in quarters
  • 1 teaspoon anise extract
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tarragon sprig
  • 1 thyme sprig
  • Freshly ground pepper

  • 16 ounces cod or other white fish
  • 3-4 lobster tails
  • 1 pound raw shrimp
  • 1 pound raw scallops

    Mashed Potato Topping
  • 24 ounces cooked Mashed Potatoes
  • 1 cup cheddar cheese
  • Freshly ground pepper

    Bechamel Sauce
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 6 ounces reserved reduced poaching stock
  • 3 1/2 ounces heavy whipping cream
  • Freshly ground pepper
  • Step 1 Place all the ingredients for the poaching stock in a large stock/soup pot and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and poach each of the fish for a few minutes (2-4 minutes) until just cooked. Remove the fish from the poaching stock and set aside. Strain the poaching liquid and return to the pot. Reduce until the liquid is reduced by almost half.
  • Step 2 Mix the Mashed Potatoes ingredients together. Set aside.
  • Step 3 Bechamel Sauce – On low heat, melt the butter in a saucepan. Add the flour and stir to make a roux. Cook for several minutes, stirring constantly. Do not brown.   You are looking for a blond roux.  Mix the cream with the reduced poaching stock.  Gradually add the reduced poaching stock cream mixture, one ladle at a time, stirring until you have a smooth sauce.  Blend until well incorporated. You are looking for a medium to thick bechamel sauce.
  • Step 4 In a large baking dish, layer the cooked fish (cod, scallops, lobster and shrimp). Layer some of the vegetables from the poaching liquid over the fish.  You will need to cut the carrots, celery and fennel into smaller pieces.  Pour the bechamel sauce over the fish ensuring that all the fish is coated. Add the mashed potatoes on top.  Make a pattern on top of the mashed potatoes with a fork.  Bake in a 375 degree oven for 25-35 minutes until the top is golden brown.  Serve immediately.

    NOTE:  Do not add salt.  The wine reduces down and will provide the salt needed for this dish.  Additionally, the cheddar cheese also has salt.
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