The Mighty Pie

This recipe is a supper regular in our household as I find it’s a great way of using up leftovers and is always comforting and filling when it’s not so nice outside.  Serve with buttery mash and veggies.

Pie

Pastry

  • 250g Plain Flour
  • 150g Fat – either 75g each of lard or butter or all butter…whatever is in your fridge
  • 1 egg
  • Good pinch of salt
  • Enough cold water to bind

Make the pastry ahead, use a spare 5 minutes to make it then wrap in cling film and place in the fridge until needed. Either make the pastry by hand by rubbing the fats into the flour and salt until it resembles breadcrumbs. Add the egg and mix with a knife and gradually add the water a little at the time until the dough comes together, shape into a ball and wrap as above. To make in the food processor, pulse the flour and fats until it looks like breadcrumbs, add the egg and the water a little at the time whilst pulsing the processor and stop as soon as the dough forms a ball. Wrap as above and keep in the fridge until needed.

For your filling, have a look at what’s in your fridge or freezer.  I tend to use up leftover roast chicken, bacon rashers, roast gammon, etc or if I have a couple of chicken breasts in the freezer then I’ll use them.  I always tend to have onions, carrots & celery in the fridge and often have mushrooms too.  Along with some herbs, a glug of white wine and some chicken stock, with a little plain flour to thicken, that is essentially my pie filling.  If you make too much filling for the pie then keep the rest and eat it with rice, or once cooked freeze it and then you’ll always have pie filling or an extra meal should you need it.  I have noted quantities because this is my ‘leftovers’ pie and I always tend to just use what I have and pad things out with additional vegetables if needed.

Prepare the filling by sweating the onions, carrots and celery together in a little oil until soft, add the meat – either raw or cooked, if raw, then make sure the meat is cooked before outing into the pastry.  Add the herbs then the wine and cook for a couple of minutes.  Add a tablespoon of flour and then gradually add some stock until the liquid is thick but not too thick.  Any excess liquid can be used as additional sauce for the pie when serving it.  Cook the mixture for a few more minutes, taste to check the seasoning and adjust as necessary.  Leave to one side off the heat whilst you preheat the oven to Gas mark 5/180 Celsius and prepare the pastry.

IMG_1722

The pie, glazed and pierced and ready for the oven.

I use a 7 inch loose bottom cake tin to make my pie in as it’s the perfect size for at least two suppers for the two of us, but having it as a loose bottom means the pie will come out of the tin really easy.  I grease the tin with a little butter before rolling out the pastry to the thickness of a £1 coin.  Lift the pastry carefully using the rolling pin and fit the pastry snuggly to the tin.  Trim the edges using a knife and roll out another round of pastry for the lid. Fill the pastry case with the filling, making sure that there are no gaps and that the pie is filled right up to the top.  Brush the edge of the pastry with beaten egg before placing the lid on top.  Seal the edges by gently but firmly pressing them together and then trimming off any excess.  Crimp the edges using your fingers and the cut at least one hole in the middle of the buy to let out any steam.  Glaze the pie with yet more and then bake in the oven until golden brown for 35-40 minutes.  I tend to leave mine to rest for at least 15 minutes before I cut it, this will give you extra time to sort out your mash and veggies and to re-heat any left-over juices that didn’t make it into the pie.

IMG_1724

The finished pie, taking a well earned rest before being devoured.

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2 responses to “The Mighty Pie

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