Every cook has a favourite fish pie recipe. Mine has wafer-thin slices of potato and fennel a touch of saffron and high heat at the end of the bake to crisp the top.
500g thickish fish fillets (snapper, Hapuku, John Dory, blue-eye)
2 medium potatoes, peeled
1 small head fennel
half cup tomato sauce (home-made or your favourite pasta sauce)
2 fresh tomatoes
Half teaspoon saffron
Half cup dry white wine
1 tablespoon olive oil
It is very important that the potatoes, onion and fennel are all cut extremely thinly so that they cook at the same rate as the fish.
Drop fennel slices into lightly salted boiling water for 3 minutes, then drain and dry really well.
Brush a suitably-sized ovenproof gratin dish with some of the olive oil.
Check fish carefully for bones and scales and dry well. Cut fish into generous chunks.
Pour 1 tablespoon boiling water over the saffron and set aside in a small bowl.
Line dish with a single layer of potato, then onion rings, then fennel slices. Smear with some of the tomato sauce. Add salt and pepper. Now add the fish. Smear with more of the tomato sauce and arrange the slices of fresh tomato over the fish. Add rest of onion and fennel slices, top with the rest of the potato. Tip the wine into the saffron water and drizzle over the top. Drizzle with extra virgin olive oil.
Bake 180deg for 30 minutes, covered with foil. Then raise temperature to 200degC, remove foil, spoon some of the juices over the top potato slices and bake until really crisp (maybe 15 minutes.)