Fennel-y Fish Pie

Spring, would you just get here already?! Our patience is wearing thin during this long, fickle transformation out of winter. On the bright side, we’re being sated by this rich and comforting recipe. It’s perfect for a weeknight dinner and equally lovely for a dinner party--the single portions make the pie feel special. Fresh fennel coupled with liquorice-y Pernod really brighten the fish and the creamy sauce. Think of this recipe as a pescetarian shepherd’s pie. (Prop styling by Lisa Lee)

Serves 4

  • 1pound yellow-fleshed potatoes
  • 34cup heavy cream
  • 5tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
  • 3ounces grated sharp cheddar cheese
  • 12bulb fennel, finely chopped
  • 2small carrots, finely chopped
  • 1small onion, finely chopped
  • 1rib celery, finely chopped
  • 2tablespoons Pernod (optional)
  • 3tablespoons all purpose gluten-free flour mix
  • 3cups good fish stock
  • 12cup milk
  • 2tablespoons chopped fresh fennel fronds or tarragon
  • 12pound fillet black cod (sable) cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 12pound fillet salmon cut in 1-inch pieces
  • 12pound fillet cod cut in 1-inch pieces
  • Heat the oven to 400 degrees. Butter four 8-ounce ramekins. Place on a parchment-lined sheet pan, set aside.
  • 2
  • Place the potatoes in a medium stockpot. Cover completely with water. Cover, bring to a simmer over medium heat. Remove lid, continue to simmer gently, adjusting heat if needed. Simmer until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain the potatoes and use a wood spoon to roughly mash with cream, 2 tablespoons of the butter, and 2 ounces of the cheddar. Set aside.
  • 3
  • Heat a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add remaining butter and the vegetables, saute until fennel and onions are tender and translucent, about 10 minutes. Add Pernod, scrape the bottom of the pot. Add the gluten-free flour mix, stir to coat the vegetables. Add the milk and stock, whisk and simmer until thickened to the consistency of cream, remove from heat.
  • 4
  • Divide the fish evenly among the ramekins, making sure each container has a nice mix of fish. Top each with the fennel mixture. Spread the top of each with mashed potato mixture. Sprinkle remaining cheddar over the tops.
  • 5
  • Place pies in hot oven for about 40 minutes, until the potatoes are nicely browned and the fish is cooked through. Serve in the ramekins.