Type and press ENTER
Hit ESC to close
Fish pie cliff townhouse
Fish pie

Sea it, cook it

Two fantastic fish recipes from Sean Smith of the Cliff Townhouse


These two recipes will make it a very Good Friday

If you’re of a certain age, you’ll remember dinner on Good Friday mostly consisting of bright orange fish that had been boiled to within an inch of its life (if you’re not of a certain age, ask your gran).

Fear not, however, because Sean Smith of the Cliff Townhouse in Dublin has two great fishy recipes for you to try. And if you live in Dubin, you can even buy some of his food to enjoy at home via the website.

Fish with mushy peas

 Serves 4-6

180g haddock or cod
For the batter
250g plain flour
200g rice flour
50g corn flour
10g sugar
20g salt
27g yeast
1.5 pints of beer

For the mushy peas
100g peas, blanched
10g butter
Chopped mint
Salt and pepper


1. Mix all the dry ingredients together, then add the beer while whisking. Whisk in the yeast, then let the mixture rest in a warm area for 30 – 40 mins until it rises
2. Pass the fish through some seasoned flour, then through batter. Cook the battered fish in hot oil (fryer 180-185 degrees) until it floats and is crispy and golden in colour.
3. Blanch the peas by dropping them into a pot of boiling water for just 1.5 minutes.
4. While they are still hot, blitz in the blender with the butter, mint, salt and pepper for one to two minutes before serving with the fish.

Fish pie

Serves four to five

2 large shallots or 1 onion, peeled and chopped
2 tbsp olive oil
40g butter
1 large thyme sprig, leaves only
4 tbsp Noilly Prat or dry vermouth
2 tsp Pernod (optional)
4 tbsp plain flour
250ml fish, chicken or vegetable stock (a stock cube is fine)
200ml milk
4 tbsp double cream
3 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
180g skinless salmon fillets
250g skinless halibut or seatrout fillets
200g queen scallops
150g king prawns or lobster
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
Sea salt and freshly-ground black pepper

For the topping

750g potatoes, peeled
75g butter, cubed
50ml hot milk
2 large egg yolks
75g medium Cheddar cheese, grated


1. Pre-heat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Grease a shallow pie dish.
2. Begin by making the mashed potato for the topping. Chop the potatoes into chunks and cook in boiling salted water until soft. Drain well and mash until smooth. Add the butter and hot milk and mix until well incorporated. Allow to cool slightly, then stir in the egg yolks. Season well and put to one side.
3. Sauté the shallots or onion in the oil and butter with the thyme leaves for about five minutes until softened. Add the Noilly Prat and Pernod (if using), then cook for four to five minutes until reduced right down. Stir in the flour and cook for a minute or so.
4. Heat the stock in a small pan. Gradually stir it into the shallot mixture with a wooden spoon until smooth, and boil for about five minutes until reduced by a third. Mix in the milk, lower the heat and simmer for a few minutes. Season well, then add the cream and parsley.
5. Meanwhile, cut the salmon and halibut into bite-sized chunks and scatter in the pie dish with the scallops and prawns/lobster. Sprinkle with the lemon juice and seasoning.
6. Pour over the sauce and mix well with a fork. Spread the mashed potato on top and fluff up with a fork. Scatter with the grated cheese and put the pie immediately in the oven.
7. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn the oven down to 180°C/Gas 4 and bake for another 20 minutes, turning if it browns unevenly. Allow to stand for 10 minutes before serving