Donegal Table: Wild Atlantic Irish Fish Pie

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From chef Brian McDermott’s new book ‘Donegal Table‘ published by The O’Brien Press. ‘I’m lucky enough to live right on the Wild Atlantic Way’, says Brian who runs his own cookery school in Moville, County Donegal. ‘Believe it or not, it’s one of the longest coastal routes in Europe, so it seems only fitting to include a dish that celebrates the freshness of the sea. This fresh fish pie tastes so good, think it should be available in every coastal village along the Wild Atlantic Way.’

Serves 6


100g butter
Bunch of scallions, finely chopped
Freshly ground black pepper
750g potatoes, cooked and mashed
350g haddock fillets
350g smoked haddock fillets
1 bay leaf
500ml milk
50g plain flour
100 g local cheese, grated
1 onion, peeled and diced
2 carrots, peeled and diced
White of 1 leek, sliced
4 sticks of celery, diced
50ml rapeseed oil
4 cloves of garlic, crushed
Handful of fresh parsley, chopped


1. Melt 50g of the butter in a pan and sweat the chopped scallions. Mix in through the mashed potato along with a pinch of pepper. Leave aside.

2. Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.

3. Place the fish fillets in a pan with the bay leaf and cover with the milk. Bring to the boil
and simmer for 7 minutes.

4. Remove the fish from the milk and place in tin foil to keep warm.

5. Melt the remainder of the butter in a saucepan and add the flour to make a roux. Cook for 1 minute. Gradually add the milk the fish was cooked in, and season with pinch of pepper. Stirring all the time, simmer the sauce until it thickens. Add 50g of the grated cheese.

6. Sweat the onion, carrots, leek and celery in the rapeseed oil until the vegetables have softened.

7. Roughly break up the fish fillets, then place in an ovenproof dish with the vegetables. Pour over the sauce and gently combine. Spread the mashed potato on top and sprinkle with the remaining grated cheese. Bake in the preheated oven for 40 minutes.

8. Allow to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with chopped parsley.

A Fish Pie Tip from Brian
Leftover cooked potatoes work perfectly for this dish. You can also cover your pie with pastry.

BRIAN MCDERMOTT is an award-winning chef who is passionate about sharing his love of food with others. As a host, presenter and demonstrator, he is one of the most sought-after chefs on the Irish food-festival circuit. He also runs his own cookery school in Moville, County Donegal and is a food consultant to some of the best-known names in Irish food. He is the author of the successful cookery book Reunite with Food and is a regular on RTÉ and BBC television and radio, and in the local and national press. He lives in Moville with his wife, Brenda, and daughters, Niamh and Aoife.

Where to buy the Donegal Table
You’ll find the Donegal Table on sale at good bookstores in Ireland, at our Amazon link below and at the O’Brien Press online store.


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