Fisherman’s Pie

Fisherman's Pie-1-13Even though ’tis the season for creamy soups and hearty casseroles, my taste buds and very temperamental stomach demand light and healthy flavors. I don’t have the luxury of arguing with my gastrointestinal system – she is a diva and if she doesn’t get her way, she WILL throw a tantrum for days, which I will deeply regret later.

I am so glad that there are ways to cook very filling and deeply satisfying dishes which taste fresh and light at the same time. Based loosely on the Shepherd’s Pie, the Fisherman’s Pie is usually made with a rich and creamy sauce that is poured over the fish  in a baking dish and then topped with a mashed potato crust and baked.

In my version, I bypass the white sauce and create a sauce naturally, saving time and calories, but vastly improving the fresh flavors of this dish. It took me only 15 minutes of prep work and this impressive dish was in the oven. The onions, tomatoes and fish all steam under the potato crust and as they bake, the fish is infused with the aromatic vegetables and herbs, the fish stays very juicy and the onions and tomatoes and the fish juices all intertwine to make a really awesomely delicious sauce. The fluffy potato crust crisps up as it bakes into golden swirls, making this dish into a stunning masterpiece. Not bad for a random Monday night dinner.

Ingredients:

1 1/2 – 1 3/4 lbs russet potatoes (about 4 medium potatoes)

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 onion, thinly sliced

3 tomatoes, sliced

4 Tbsp olive oil, plus more to brush the baking dish

1 – 1/2  lbs white fish fillets (cod, haddock, swai, tilapia, snapper, sea bass, catfish, etc)

fresh herbs, such as parsley, basil, dill

dry herbs, such as basil, thyme,

Old Bay, optional

salt, pepper

4 Tbsp butter

1/3 – 1/2 cup milk

3 egg yolks

Instructions:

Fisherman's Pie-1Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.

Peel the potatoes and cut them into 2 inch pieces. Place the potatoes into a medium pot, cover with water and cook at a simmer in salted water just until the potatoes are fork tender.

Fisherman's Pie-1-2Meanwhile, brush a deep dish 9 inch round pie plate with oil, making sure to cover the sides as well as the bottom of the dish. You can also use an 8×8 inch rimmed baking dish as well. Spread out 1 of the minced garlic cloves on the bottom of the dish. Fisherman's Pie-1-3Slice the onions into thin circles and spread them out on the bottom of the pie plate. Season with salt and pepper. Fisherman's Pie-1-4Slice the tomatoes into 1/2 inch thick circles and shingle them in one layer on top of the onions.

Make sure to slice the onions very thinly and keep the tomato slices thicker, so that they cook through at the same time. You want to make sure that the onions have a chance to become tender and they won’t if you slice them too thick. Also, if the tomatoes are sliced too thin, they will disintegrate.

Season with salt and ground black pepper, drizzle with about 2 Tablespoons olive oil and also the last minced garlic clove and some fresh and dry herbs, like basil, parsley, dill. I like to use a mixture of both fresh and dry herbs, since they give the dish uniquely different flavor profiles, hearty and fresh, in one. Fisherman's Pie-1-5Cut the fish into smaller portions, so that you can fit them into the pie plate better.

You can use any kind of firm white fish that you like – cod, snapper, sea bass, tilapia, catfish, swai, etc. Salmon would work too, although I’ve never used it in this recipe myself. It’s important to use thick fish fillets in this recipe. I would not recommend using flounder or sole. They are very thin and the fish will be very dry by the time the rest of the ingredients are cooked through.

Season the fish on both sides with salt, pepper and any other seasonings that you like for fish. Place the fish on top of the tomatoes. Drizzle with another 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with both fresh and dry herbs.

Fisherman's Pie-1-6Meanwhile, the potatoes should be done cooking. Drain the water, add the butter to the potatoes and mash the potatoes with a potato masher, or use a potato ricer or a hand held mixer.Fisherman's Pie-1-7

Fisherman's Pie-1-8Add the milk to the mashed potatoes. Add a portion of the milk at a time and adjust the amount of milk that you use to how thick or thin you like mashed potatoes. Fisherman's Pie-1-9Add the egg yolks, mix to combine. Adding the egg yolks to the mashed potato mixture will help give the potatoes structure as they bake, keeping them from falling apart. I think it makes the potatoes extra fluffy too. Fisherman's Pie-1-10Scoop out the mashed potatoes on top of the fish and even it out, so that the mashed potatoes are covering all of the fish. Fisherman's Pie-1-11Bake in the preheated over for 35-40minutes. Broil for the last 2-3 minutes of baking, just to get a light golden color on the potato crust.Fisherman's Pie-1-12

Fisherman's Pie-1-13

Fisherman's Pie
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 1½ - 1¾ lbs russet potatoes (about 4 medium potatoes)
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 tomatoes, sliced
  • 4 Tbsp olive oil, plus more to brush the baking dish
  • 1 - ½ lbs white fish fillets (cod, haddock, swai, tilapia, snapper, sea bass, catfish, etc)
  • fresh herbs, such as parsley, basil, dill
  • dry herbs, such as basil, thyme,
  • Old Bay, optional
  • salt, pepper
  • 4 Tbsp butter
  • ⅓ - ½ cup milk
  • 3 egg yolks
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 2 inch pieces. Place the potatoes into a medium pot, cover with water and cook at a simmer in salted water just until the potatoes are fork tender.
  3. Meanwhile, brush a deep dish 9 inch round pie plate with oil, making sure to cover the sides as well as the bottom of the dish. You can also use an 8x8 inch rimmed baking dish as well.
  4. Spread out 1 of the minced garlic cloves on the bottom of the dish.
  5. Slice the onions into thin circles and spread them out on the bottom of the pie plate. Season with salt and pepper.
  6. Slice the tomatoes into ½ inch thick circles and shingle them in one layer on top of the onions. Season with salt and ground black pepper, drizzle with about 2 Tablespoons olive oil and also the last minced garlic clove and some fresh and dry herbs, like basil, parsley, dill. I like to use a mixture of both fresh and dry herbs, since they give the dish uniquely different flavor profiles, hearty and fresh, in one.
  7. Cut the fish into smaller portions, so that you can fit them into the pie plate better. Season the fish on both sides with salt, pepper and any other seasonings that you like for fish. Place the fish on top of the tomatoes. Drizzle with another 2 Tablespoons of olive oil and sprinkle with both fresh and dry herbs.
  8. Meanwhile, the potatoes should be done cooking. Drain the water, add the butter to the potatoes and mash the potatoes with a potato masher, or use a potato ricer or a hand held mixer.
  9. Add the milk to the mashed potatoes. Add a portion of the milk at a time and adjust the amount of milk that you use to how thick or thin you like mashed potatoes.
  10. Add the egg yolks, mix to combine. Scoop out the mashed potatoes on top of the fish and even it out, so that the mashed potatoes are covering all of the fish.
  11. Bake in the preheated over for 35-40minutes. Broil for the last 2-3 minutes of baking, just to get a light golden color on the potato crust.
Notes
You can use any kind of firm white fish that you like - cod, snapper, sea bass, tilapia, catfish, swai, etc. Salmon would work too, although I've never used it in this recipe myself. It's important to use thick fish fillets in this recipe. I would not recommend using flounder or sole. They are very thin and the fish will be very dry by the time the rest of the ingredients are cooked through.

35 Comments

  • lena

    Hello Olga!! Thanks for the receipe. I have one question. Does the dish need to be covered with foil while baking for 40 min or not??? Thanks

  • Inna

    I made it today for lunch. I know u didn’t recommend using flounder, but it the only fresh fish I had. Anyways everybody loved the pie, and flounder worked out pretty good.

  • Yuliya

    I made this recipe two days ago using swai and it was super good. My husband and I both really liked it and I’m waiting for the next opportunity to make it again. Thanks for the great recipe.

  • Marilyn

    When I made this tonight, after 40 minutes the fish was still totally raw in the middle of the dish 🙁 I might try a bigger baking dish to spread the ingredients out more next time. My dish was completely overflowing too, so maybe my vegetables were bigger than yours. Or my 8×8 baking dish on the small side? I don’t know! I had to run and add a drip pan underneath when it started bubbling and dripping all over the oven! Oops. We always love your recipes, so I know after I figure out how this one works with my setup it will be as good as everything else we get from you.

    • olgak7

      I’m so sorry it didn’t work out for you, Marilyn.
      Maybe your fish was thicker than mine was too? If your baking pan was overflowing than it was too full, so it would help if you put it into a bigger baking dish.
      What a bummer:(. I hope it will turn out better next time.

      • Marilyn

        Oh man, it was fantastic! We LOVED it and will make it again and again! When I discovered it was not cooked through, I just put foil over the dish (because I had browned the top already) and baked it 10 minutes longer. It then came out absolute perfection. Really great recipe, thank you!

  • Tanya

    Any time I want to make a fish dish, I run over to your site to see what you have. And seeing that I only had an hour to prepare dinner, I was VERY pleased with how this turned out! My husband loves shepherd pie, and was pleasantly surprised with the tilapia. My prego cravings were satisfied as well. Thank you for having such simple recipes with simple ingredients that are easy to follow with lick the plate kind of flavor!!

    • olgak7

      I’m so happy to hear that, Tanya. So glad you and your husband enjoyed the dinner. (I love this one too.)
      Congratulations on your new baby!

  • Zahraa

    Hi Olga,
    I watched you make this recipe on your IG story and was thrilled that i had all the ingredients. I made it and it turned out delicious!
    Thank you so much! ❤️

  • Sara

    Hi Olga,
    I’ve just discovered you, your and Sergi’s story and your website….all AMAZING! What a picture of the power and love of God!

    I’m looking forward to making this recipe, but have one question. I live in the mid-South where the tomato season is very short, and, even then, it’s hard to find really good-tasting ones in the stores. What other vegetables could I use in place of tomatoes?

    Also, isn’t it usually necessary to sauté onions before putting them into a dish, for example, in cornbread dressing? I’m concerned that baking raw onions will result in a harsh taste if they are not caramelized by sautéing, first. Thanks in advance!

    • olgak7

      Hi Sara! Welcome! So happy to have you here. Thank you for the kind words.
      Yes, tomatoes do tend to be the best during the summer. I haven’t really used other veggies instead, but you can use zucchini. Carrots and celery would also be great options, but you would need to sauce them first, because they will not cook through, since fish cooks so quickly.
      Yes, you would normally sauce the onions first in most recipes, but in this case, if you slice it really thinly, it will cook through just fine. Of course, you can saute it first if you prefer.

    • olgak7

      I personally don’t like reheating fish, but it’s totally up to you. Just reheat it how you normally do – microwave, skillet, oven, etc.

  • Evelina

    Olga thank you for this wonderful recipe! I used halibut my husband caught and it was so so good! This has become one of my favorite recipes

  • Olga Lelyukh

    I just made this dish last night for the first time. My husband, who is quite picky with food, absolutely loved it and complimented me several times (which is high praise coming from him). We had a neighbor over for dinner, and he really enjoyed it as well. I used a bigger dish and slightly increased the portions in the recipe. I also added some shredded cheese on top, and it gave the dish a nice crispy golden topping. Thank you for yet another simple but delicious recipe, Olga!

    • olgak7

      Thank you so much for taking the time to write – your comment made me smile. I am so happy you and your family (and your neighbor) enjoyed this recipe.

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