Winter in the UK, if the weather’s not too rough for the fishermen to go out, can and normally does bring us the most wonderful bounty of gorgeous fish, from cold, clean glorious waters, and this is a classic that celebrates them all.
Jamie Oliver’s luxurious fish pie with creamy Prosecco sauce and Red Leicester cheese mash
Total time: 2 hours 30 minutes
- 1 x 1.5kg whole live lobster, from sustainable sources
- 600ml semi-skimmed milk
- 1 onion
- 1 large carrot
- 1 bulb of fennel
- 1 leek
- olive oil
- 50g unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons plain flour
- 2 teaspoons English mustard
- 150ml Prosecco
- 50g Lancashire or Cheddar cheese
- 2kg Maris Piper potatoes
- 75g Red Leicester cheese
- cayenne pepper
- 200g seasonal greens, such as kale, cavolo nero, chard
- 1kg mixed fish fillets and seafood, such as smoked haddock, scallops, salmon, bass, gurnard, lemon sole, skin off and pin-boned, from sustainable sources
- 10 raw peeled king prawns, from sustainable sources
Buy your lobster on the day you want to cook it. Ask your fishmonger to kill it for you, or if you’re happy doing it yourself, place the live lobster in the freezer for 30 minutes, so it’s docile. When ready to cook, carefully and swiftly place the lobster in a large pan of boiling water head first, pop the lid on and cook for 8 minutes. Remove, cool, and carefully halve the lobster, then remove the meat to a bowl – save the claws to decorate, if you like, or, even better, crack, pull out the meat and add it to the bowl. Put all the shells back into the empty pan you cooked the lobster in and bash with a rolling pin, then pour in the milk and simmer on a low heat for 15 to 20 minutes to impart unbelievable flavour.
Meanwhile, peel the onion and carrot, trim the fennel, wash the leek, finely chop it all and place in a large casserole pan on a medium heat with 1 tablespoon of oil and half the butter. Cook for 15 minutes, or until soft and sticky, stirring regularly. Stir in the flour, followed by the mustard and Prosecco. Let the alcohol bubble and cook away, then strain and gradually stir in the milk and simmer until you have a nice, loose, silky consistency. Remove from the heat, grate in the Lancashire or Cheddar cheese, taste, season to perfection and leave to cool.
Peel the potatoes, cutting up any larger ones so they’re all a similar size, then cook in a large pan of boiling salted water for 15 to 20 minutes, or until cooked through. Drain in a colander and leave to steam dry, then return to the pan and mash well with the remaining butter and the grated Red Leicester. Season to perfection with sea salt and cayenne, loosening with a splash of milk, if needed.
Remove any tough stalks from the greens, then finely chop and sprinkle into a baking dish (30cm x 35cm). Slice all the fish into bite-sized pieces and add to the dish, halve and add the prawns (deveining, if needed), then dot the lobster meat in and around. Pour over the sauce, top with the mash, then drizzle lightly with oil and poke in your lobster claws (if using). Bake for 1 hour in a preheated oven at 180°C/350°F/gas 4, or until golden, bubbling and the fish is cooked through.
ⓒ Jamie Oliver 2016. Photographer: David Loftus.