fish pie at Bentley's Oyster Bar & Grill in Mayfair, London

Bentley’s Fish Pie Recipe

1kg fish fillets, including salmon, smoked haddock and white fish such as pollack and haddock (the smoked haddock trimmings will be used in the sauce)
1.5kg floury potatoes
2 egg yolks


100g butter, plus a little extra for sweating the vegetables
1 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
a sprig of thyme
150ml of white wine
smoked haddock trimmings (see above)
2 pints milk
100g plain flour
1 tablespoon English mustard
a handful of chives and parsley chopped

To finish

a little lemon juice
a handful of fresh breadcrumbs
a little grated parmesan

  1. Remove the skin from the fish and cut into bite-sized pieces, reserving the skin of the smoked haddock for the sauce.
  2. To start the sauce, heat a little butter in a saucepan, add the onion, garlic and thyme and sweat until softened. Add the white wine and the smoked haddock trimmings and cook for a few minutes to burn off the alcohol. Add the milk and bring to just under the boil, then take the pan from the heat, pass the contents through a sieve into a bowl and keep hot.
  3. Melt the 100g butter in a heavy saucepan, add the flour and cook over a low heat, stirring for 5 minutes. Pour the hot infused milk into the pan and whisk vigorously until the mixture is smooth and thick. Taste to make sure you can’t taste the flour. If you can, let it cook gently for a little longer.
  4. Whisk in the mustard and add the chives and parsley. Check the seasoning and add salt and pepper and more mustard if you wish. Leave to cool down while you make the mash — it is best not to assemble the pie with hot sauce as it will cook the fish too quickly.
  5. Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas 4.Peel the potatoes and cook in boiling salted water until tender. Drain in a colander and allow the potatoes to steam for a couple of minutes to rid them of excess moisture, then mash and season with salt and pepper. Add the egg yolks.
  6. Scoop the mash into a piping bag — it needs to be hot in order to pipe easily. To assemble, spoon a little of the sauce into the bottom of a pie dish. Arrange a selection of fish on top of the sauce. Season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon juice.
  7. Completely cover with sauce, then pipe or spoon on the mash. Mix together the breadcrumbs and parmesan and sprinkle over the top.
  8. Place the pie on a baking sheet and cook for around 20 minutes until the top is golden brown. Serve immediately.