In 2022, Sydney mainstay The Wild Rover made a few changes to celebrate its 10th birthday. First, it dropped the “Wild” and became simply “The Rover”. It also changed concepts, shifting from its Irish roots to become a New England-inspired bar downstairs and British-style bistro upstairs. While menus at both are seafood-heavy, they pull focus away from the traditionally barbeque-driven seafood menus of Australia towards the richer, heavier approach to seafood in England and New England. This pie is no exception.

“Fish pies are a staple in a lot of informal, casual restaurants and pubs in the UK,” says British-born executive chef Pip Pratt. “They just remind me of home. They are hot, hearty and filling and go great with some buttered mustardy greens.

“We use the mullet as it has a lot of flavour at a cost-effective price, and the trout brings an extra oily, fatty depth to the pie. You can also get the kids to eat it, too. It’s a great family dinner option.”

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The pie can be assembled in advance, then refrigerated until ready for baking.

The Rover’s fisherman’s pie
Makes 1 pie, 20cm in diameter
Prep time: 30 minutes to steep the milk, plus 30 minutes for other prep
Cooking time: 1 hour

Ingredients:

Seasoned milk
1.5L full cream milk
1 onion, halved
15g salt
15 black peppercorns
8 cloves
2 bay leaves

Bechamel
50g butter
50g flour

Filling
300g fresh ocean trout (or salmon), diced into 1.5cm cubes
300g white fish, diced into 1.5cm cubes (The Rover uses sea mullet)
150g onion, finely diced
200g carrots, diced into 5mm cubes
3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
150g peas (defrosted from frozen is fine)

Potato gratin
250g desiree potatoes, peeled and grated
Salt and pepper, to taste
60g parmesan cheese, finely grated

Method
To make seasoned milk, add all its ingredients into a pot and bring to a medium simmer. Remove from the heat and steep for 30 minutes, then strain.

For the bechamel, melt the butter in a pan then add flour, mixing hard to avoid lumps, creating a roux. Incorporate 500ml of the seasoned milk into the roux using a whisk, adding about 100ml at a time. (It’ll get pretty hard to mix but hang in there.) Bring to a simmer, season with salt and pepper and remove from heat.

To cook the fish, bring another 500ml of the seasoned milk to a boil and carefully add the cubed fish, then turn the heat off and poach for 3 minutes. Carefully remove the fish with a spider strainer and spread on a tray to cool in the fridge.

To create a mirepoix, saute the onion in a medium pan for 5 minutes, until soft but not coloured. Add the carrots and garlic and cook for a further 5 minutes until carrots are al dente. Do not overcook – the carrots add texture to the dish.

For the potato gratin, bring 250ml of the seasoned milk to the boil, then add the potato. Simmer for 1 minute or until the potato is al dente. Strain out the potato, then season with salt and pepper and stir through the parmesan.

To assemble, mix the bechamel with the poached fish and the mirepoix. Mix in the peas and place in an oven-proof tray (20cm in diameter, about 5cm deep). Spread out the potato gratin mix over the top. (At this point you can keep it in your fridge until you’re ready to bake.)

Bake at 200°C, until golden on top and piping hot throughout. Grate more cheese over if desired.

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