I make this (leftover) turkey and ham pie every year to use up leftover Christmas turkey and ham, although it’s just as good with leftover roast chicken. The Ham can be substituted for bacon, and you can even add sliced mushrooms and/or sweetcorn. It’s ridiculously simple, you can make it in advance, and it’s sure to impress. It is a little calorific though! You can switch the double cream for creme fraiche – we just had some to use up.
We had my father-in-law for supper and he was very enthusiastic about this little baby, and professed that I’d worked far too hard on it. Little does he know how easy it is to put together. In fact I quite fancy another one of these now….
Let’s dive in…
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 2 leeks
- 1 clove garlic
- A slosh of white wine (optional)
- 1 tub creme fraiche or double cream
- 1 Knorr chicken stock pot
- Salt and pepper
- 1/2 tsp dried parsley
- 1/2 tsp dried rosemary
- 1/2 tsp dried thyme
- 1/2 tsp ground nutmeg (ideally freshly grated)
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 tbsp plain flour
- A couple of handfuls of cold roast turkey or chicken
- Cubed ham or bacon, about a handful or two of that
- 1 sheet ready roll puff pastry
- 1 egg
- Start by slicing the leeks into narrow half moons. Heat the oil in a large, deep frying pan and add the leeks. Cook them on a low to medium heat for around 10 minutes then add the wine and garlic.
- Cook those out and tip in the cream, then mix together. Add the seasoning, herbs and nutmeg and then the mustard and stock. Mix together and heat through.
- Add the chopped meat, and also some chopped mushrooms or sweetcorn if you fancy. Cook that all out for 10 minutes or so then see how the consisteny is. If the sauce seems a bit thin, mix the flour with a little water and pour a little in. Bring to the boil, stirring continuously and then check the consistency again. Repeat until the sauce is as thick as you'd like, then allow to cool completely. If you don't let the mixture cool it'll steam into the pastry and melt it from underneath.
- Tip the cooled mixture into a pie dish, casserole dish or pyrex dish.
- Preheat the oven to 180c fan.
- Cut the pastry to fit your dish, and use any scraps to make little decorations - I used a star cutter and twisted some strips for round the side. Beat the egg together and brush it round the edge of the dish. Place the pastry on top being careful not to let it dip into the filling. Press it down around the edges and cut a cross in the middle to let the steam out. Egg wash the top of the pastry and add the decorations then egg wash again.
- Put in the oven for half an hour or so and until the sauce is bubbling and the pastry has risen and turned golden.
- Serve up with some lovely veg and enjoy!
And if you need to know how to roast that bird, we have some recipes for that too! Try our Clementine and Thyme Roast Chicken or Harissa Roast Chicken for something a little different. If you want to try something really unusual, this Beer Can Chicken is really beautiful and can be eaten with salad in the summer, as well as taking about half the time to cook as a normal roast chicken.
If a pie isn’t your thing, this Chicken and Avocado Open Sandwich will use up your leftover roast chicken too.
Another page in the calendar has flipped over and the clocks have hopped back an hour, so it’s definitely time to dust off the casserole dish and make a hearty cottage pie. If you don’t know what a cottage pie is, it’s basically a shepherd’s pie, but made with beef mince instead of lamb – because for some reason or another, lamb and I just don’t get on. The beef version is every bit as tasty, in my opinion, and it’s a little bit cheaper to make.
I’m sure most people have an old family recipe for cottage pie, or at least their own way of doing it, but I made one recently and thought I might as well throw my recipe into the ring.
- 1 large packet beef mince
- 2 onions
- 6 carrots
- 1 clove garlic
- 1 tsp tomato puree
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tsp dried thyme
- 1 tsp dried rosemary
- 1 tsp dried parsley
- 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
- 1 Knorr beef stock pot
- salt and pepper
- a pot of good mashing potatoes, such as Maris Pipers
- knob butter
- splash milk or cream
- 2 tbsp Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
- a few gratings of nutmeg
- 200g mature cheddar
- In a large frying pan on a high heat, brown off the mince in batches, making sure not to overcrowd the pan and risking it boiling. Colour = flavour! Reserve each browned batch in a bowl or plate to the side for the meantime.
- Finely chop the onions, grate the garlic and chop the carrots into quarter discs, and cook these off over allow to medium heat in the pan, until the onions have started to turn translucent.
- Transfer into a large saucepan or casserole pot and add the tomato puree. Cook that out for a couple of minutes, mixing into the vegetables.
- Add the mince back into the pot and add the herbs, cinnamon, Worcestershire sauce and stock pot, plus enough water to just cover the mince. Put a lid on the pot and allow to simmer over a low heat, stirring every now and then. If it's getting too dry, add a little more water, but we're not going to add anything to thicken it later, so don't go too mad.
- The amount of mashed potato you will need for the top will depend how big your casserole dish is and how deep you like your potato, so it's easiest to work that out by eye. Just start peeling and quartering your potatoes and stop when you think they'll make enough mash. It's not very scientific I'm afraid but it's how I do it!
- Boil the potatoes in salted water until tender when prodded with a knife. Drain the water out then add the butter, cream, salt, pepper, nutmeg and mustard and mash until creamy and lump-free. That can be set aside with the lid on until you're ready to construct the pie.
- The mince should be given at least 45 minutes to simmer, but an hour and a half would be better.
- When you're ready to construct the pie, preheat the oven to 200c and grab a nice oblong or square oven safe casserole dish. Spread the mince into the bottom then carefully layer the mash on top, smoothing it out gently with a fork.
- When it's all nice and smooth, drag a fork through the top in furrows like a ploughed field. This helps to make the pie nice and compacted, but also gives the surface of the mash some texture, which will help it to crisp up in the oven.
- Sprinkle the cheese on top and then put back in the oven for at least half an hour, or until the mince is bubbling and the top is turning golden brown.
- Serve up with some lovely green vegetables and maybe some Branston pickle!
If you liked this British classic, why not try Charles’ Pork and Cider Stew with Sage Dumplings?