No.42 Fish Pie “the tangles”

This recipe has challenged me, going through multiple versions and still not being able to get a great picture. However, trust me, this really does work perfectly together. The inspiration for this comes from the Doric use of the word “tangles” meaning seaweed. Quite literally the grated potatoes, courgette and ribbons of leek look like the seaweed on the shore, and the peas make it look like bladder wrack (a type of seaweed in case you wondered). The strong flavour of the smoked haddock is a perfect choice of fish to combine with these vegetables.

At the time of writing this recipe was version 3.2 and I have learnt a lot through the  “journey”.  Firstly, getting waxy potatoes is essential because if you don’t then they will dissolve into the fish.  Secondly, par boiling of the potatoes is essential to ensure the almost rosti like top is present.  Thirdly, the choice of fish is really important – you want chunky pieces of smoked haddock that you hunt though the “tangles” looking for.  Lastly, leeks are very under rated, and by cooking them in the butter till turning slightly brown in parts you create a delicate sweet flavour to elevate the dish.


Serves: 4  plus leftovers     Time: 1 hour and 10 minutes

1 leek

100g of frozen peas

1 courgette

1 garlic clove

handful of parsley leaves

400g of smoked haddock, preferably thick loin

800 kg of waxy potatoes

300ml single cream or whole milk

3 tablespoons of butter

1 table of flour

Vegetable oil


  1. Parboil the potatoes skin on for half the time they would need to boiled. Place in cold water to cool.
  2. Grate the courgette and the cold cooked potatoes. Finely chop the parsley and garlic, and add to the grated mixture.
  3. Roughly chop the leek and add to a pan with two tablespoons of butter and stir whilst cooking till softened. Don’t let the leeks burn but don’t be afraid to let them brown in parts which make the leeks taste even better.
  4. Remove the leeks from the pan and add the remaining butter. Let it melt and then add the flour to make a roux. Using your spatula or wooden spoon cook out the flour till you have a thick paste, this takes a few minutes.
  5. Add the milk or cream to the roux and whisk till warm.
  6. In your oven proof dish assemble bite size pieces of the haddock with the leeks and peas. Add the Sauce on top of the fish ensure it just covers the fish. Too much liquid and it is bound to overflow when you add the potato.
  7. Add the grated mixture on top of the fish and sauce in small discs about 1 inch thickness. Then fill the remaining uncovered areas with grated mixture. sprinkle with salt and brush with vegetable oil.
  8. Bake at 220 degrees Celsius for 40-45 minutes till the top of the pie has slightly browned.

1 thought on “No.42 Fish Pie “the tangles”

  1. Thanks for the recipe =D


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