Upside Down Fish Pie, 97p | 15 Minutes | One Pan | JACK MONROE
I’ve wanted to develop this idea from a mad little kernel in my wild head, into a fully fledged recipe, for several years now, and I’m delighted to finally share it with you. It’s all the fun and flavour of a fish pie, in 15 minutes, in one pan, and it’s an enormous hit in my household. Especially with me, because I do the all of the washing up. It’s not made in the traditional way, and I’m sure that there will be some ruffled fins somewhere about the sacrilege of that, but for the convenience and speed and general simplicity of it, it’s worth upsetting a few people. They’re not exactly breaking my door down to scrub my pans anyway.
Serves 4 generously, from 97p each. Prices costed at Asda and correct at time of publication.
300g white fish, £1.79 (£5.95/1kg, Frozen For Freshness)
2 medium onions, around 200g, 13p (65p/1kg, Growers Selection)
2 stalks of celery, around 120g, optional, 11p (50p/540g, Growers Selection)
2 tbsp light cooking oil, 5p (£5/3l vegetable oil)
A generous pinch of salt, <1p (30p/750g table salt
200g mixed frozen vegetables, 25p (£1.25/1kg, Frozen For Freshness)
1 tbsp flour, <1p (55p/1.5kg plain flour)
1 chicken or vegetable stock cube, 5p (60p/12 stock cubes)
1 tsp mixed dried herbs, 3p (35p/18g, Just Essentials)
600ml milk, 41p (69p/1litre UHT Skimmed Milk, Smartprice)
Plenty of black pepper, <1p (£1/100g, TRS)
80g cheese, 36p (£3.65/825g mature cheddar, Just Essentials)
120g powdered instant mash, 53p (80p/180g)
50g butter or soft spread, 15p (75p/250g Best For Baking block)
First pop your fish out of the freezer the night before and place it in a food safe bag, container or covered bowl in the fridge to defrost. Add the mixed frozen veg too if you like, but it’s much of a muchness as they’re already cooked, so if you don’t at this stage, they’ll be fine later on.
When the fish is defrosted and it’s dinner time, take it out of the fridge and set it to one side.
Peel your onions and dice or finely slice them, and slice your celery. Pop them in a large nonstick pan, and add the oil and a generous pinch of salt.
Place the pan on the highest heat on the largest hob ring, and fry your veg for 3 minutes, stirring occasionally to disturb them so they cook evenly and don’t stick and burn at the bottom of the pan.
Add your mixed frozen veg, and cook for 2 minutes more.
Sprinkle over your flour, crumble over your stock cube, and add your herbs, and stir these in well, so the veg is all very lightly coated, or as much as you’re able to.
Pour over a little of the milk and stir in briskly and well so that it forms a thick paste along with the flour and oil that are already in the pan. Add a splash more, stirring continuously, until half of the milk – 300ml – is incorporated into the pan.
Add your fish and fold in carefully so it doesn’t break up and flake too much, making sure it is covered by the liquid sauce.
Cover your pan with a lid, or if you don’t have a lid, a larger pan upturned to make a Dutch oven type thing, a baking tray laid flat across the top, a sturdy dinner plate that will withstand some heat, or some cooking foil will do the same job. Reduce the heat very slightly so it’s not absolutely boiling, and cook so the fish poaches through, which should take around 8 minutes. Stir in the cheese at the end to melt it into the sauce – you can reserve some for the mash if you’d like to.
Towards the end of the cooking time, pour the remaining 300ml milk into a microwave safe jug. Add 300ml cold water, then add the butter or spread, and the instant mash, and stir well to combine. Microwave on full power for 1 minute, remove and mix well with a fork to break up any lumps, and return to the microwave for another minute on full power. Remove and stir again.
Serve the mash in bowls and spoon the fish ‘pie’ filling generously over the top. Season with plenty of black pepper, and serve.
TO KEEP: Store any leftovers in a food safe jar, container or bag in fridge or freezer. Use within three days if stored in the fridge, or use within three months if stored in the freezer. Defrost overnight in the fridge and reheat to piping hot to serve.
All text copyright Jack Monroe, not to be reproduced without the explicit written permission of the author.
[AD BREAK CREDITS ROLL]
If you like this, you’d probably enjoy my Twitter, which you can follow here.
Click here for my books, if you’re interested in that kind of thing. This is an affiliate link, as are the other book links in this post, which means I may earn some paltry commission if you decide to buy one. They’re also available at hive.co.uk and bookshop.org, who support independent bookshops, and at all good bookstores online and physically out there in the wild.
[THE AWKWARD BIT]
This site is completely free so that it can be a useful resource for anyone who needs it, and it always will be, but it does of course incur costs to run and keep it running. If you use it and benefit, enjoy it, and would like to keep it (and me) going, please consider popping something in the tip jar – ONLY if you can afford to do so, your presence is far more important than your pennies – and thankyou. The site is currently still a bit broken after the crash late last year – don’t worry, the recipe bits all work! – but it isn’t running ads right now, which means it isn’t generating an income from views and traffic. I’m working on fixing it, but in the meantime I’m basically working for free right now, and it’s a complicated fix so may take some time. Do enjoy the ad-free experience while it lasts!
If you are a food bank or charitable food aid organisation and you would like to print any of the recipes on this site to hand out to your clients free of charge, you may do so with my blessing. All I ask is that you keep the website details on there so people know where they can find hundreds more free recipes and ideas, thanks! If you have bought or been donated a copy of any of my cookbooks, you have my permission to photocopy any of the recipes or pages therein that may be of use to hand out free of charge. (The copyright laws start to get sticky when third parties start charging for the material, which has happened very rarely over the years, but I’ve fought quite hard to waive the usual copyright restrictions for my work so it can reach those it is intended to help, please use it respectfully so we can all continue to do so!)
Categories: 15 MINUTE MEALS, Blog, FISH, LOW-ENERGY MEALS, Microwave Cooking, ONE PAN MEALS, Recipes & Food, RECIPES UNDER £1
Love this Jack. Always steered clear of doing a fish pie style meal because all the recipes seemed far too involved for my meager skills. This one I CAN DO!
What about covering the pan with a steamer and cooking finely diced fresh potatoes?
This is a brilliant idea. I can’t see where you add the cheese though. I presume you put it in the mash? I think I’ll give this a try next time I pick up some reduced microwave mash.
Thanks for this – it is similar to something I have been doing for a while, although I normally chop up a raw potato and microwave it for about 6 minutes before mashing it!
Please don’t take this as criticism, but there is a typo in the first line of instructions – food sage bag – and there is no mention of the cheese going into the dish.
Keep up the great work – you are much appreciated.
Love this fish pie recipe Jack. Thank you your recipes are such a help. I have to swap out some of the ingredients as I hace coeliac disease ans can’t get to an Asda but you really help to stretch my budget.
Blessings to you and small boy. X
This looks great, Quick, easy, nutritious. Thanks Jack. I’m trying this soon.
That sounds delicious and any meal that only uses one pan is a BIG hit with me.
Well done you for helping people who need it much respect
Sounds and looks just delicious, thank you Jack, will definitely be trying this one
Being vegan(ish!), I don’t do fish, but going to try this using chopped Tofooo tofu, which was about £2 for a block enough to feed 4 last time I bought any, so doesn’t add much to the cost. Also, will be using soya milk, (I prefer this anyway) and a little bit of dried seaweed because I’ve got some, but wouldn’t bother me if i didn’t have it.
Thanks for all the lovely recipe ideas, Jack, don’t know what I’d do without you and your books.