A luxury fish pie from Sybil Kapoor. The puff pastry can be replaced with some fluffy mashed potato if preferred.
Preheat the oven to 220 C, Fan 200 Gas Mark 7.
Scrub the mussel shells clean and cut away beards. Lightly tap any open shells to see if they close. Discard any that do not respond, and any damaged mussels.
Place the shallots, garlic and tarragon in a wide saucepan together with the Noilly Prat. Cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes then increase the heat to high and add the cleaned mussels.
Cover again and return to the boil. As soon as the mussels have opened remove from the heat. Shell when cool enough to handle, reserving any juices. Add these to the cooking broth in the pan.
Strain the broth through a medium sized sieve into a clean pan. Check there is no grit, then return to the boil and reduce by half. Remove from the heat, add the saffron and leave to infuse.
Cut the monkfish into large dice. Trim the fennel, cut in half and wash. Cut into thin fan like slices.
Heat the oil in a non stick frying pan until very hot. Season the monkfish cubes and sear untilthey are just coloured. Remove, reduce the temperature and gently fry the fennel for a couple of minutes,
Add the saffron infused liquid and the double cream, and simmer gently for a minute until the cream thickens a little, then add the diced tomatoes, monkfish, mussels, prawns, parsley, lemon juice and seasoning to taste. Transfer to a pie dish.
Roll out the pastry on a lightly floured surface. Cut a ribbon from the edge of the dough and press it firmly onto the rim of the pie dish. Brush the pastry rim with some of the beaten egg and milk. Loosely roll the remaining pastry onto the rolling pin and lift on to the pie dish.
Using a fork firmly press around the rim so that the pastries are glued together in an attractive manner, then cut off the excess pastry. Prick the lid with a fork and paint with some more beaten egg and milk.
Bake in the centre of the preheated oven for 20 minutes or until the pastry has puffed up and become golden. Serve immediately.