Thursday, 26 December 2013

Boxing Day 2013 - Pie with Suet Crust Pastry

I promised you this recipe, and today seems a good time to post it.

It's the pie we had a couple of days ago, using leftover roast chicken. So of course you can use it with left over cooked turkey as well.

you need
for the filling
onion or leek,
any combination of cooked chicken or turkey, ham, bacon,
other veg, for example carrots, or peas or sweet corn or whatever,
butter or oil
plain flour
stock or milk

for the pastry
grated suet
self-raising flour
salt, pepper, mixed herbs

I used one small leek, a couple of carrots, and a suitable shake of frozen peas, as well as a cereal bowl full of cooked chicken, and then 3 ounces suet and 6 ounces of flour to make these three individual pies:

here goes;

preheat oven to 200C

for the filling; parboil raw carrots if using, and any other "hard" raw vegetables, for about 7-10 mins. Otherwise they will might be be crunchy.
fry the leeks/onion in the butter/oil until transparent and soft. Stir in a good tablespoon of plain flour to absorb all the fat and juice, and then slowly add sufficient milk/stock (and a slosh of white wine or dry sherry doesn't go amiss here) to make a generous quantity of a thinnish kind of gravy, the consistency of single cream. You want to have a decent amount of liquid, as the pastry will tend to soak it up. Add vegetables at this stage. You can add the meat now too, if you are going to cook it straightaway, otherwise let it all get cool first before adding the meat.

make the pastry; combine self-raising flour, suet, a good pinch of salt, some grinds of pepper and a generous pinch of dried herbs in a bowl. Slowly add water, mixing well with a fork or your fingers, until it all combines into a dough. Roll out as you need it for your pie.

Put the filling into the pie dish, top with the pastry (I just squidged the dough out to shape between my fingers as I was too lazy to dig out the rolling pin). Make a hole in the top of the pastry and if you are feeling posh, glaze with milk.

Bake for about 30 mins at 200C or until it looks done. If you have allowed enough liquid in the filling, the underside of the pastry will be the consistency of dumpling, and there will still be some gravy left with the meat.

You can serve potatoes as well, but I find that the suet pastry is substantial enough on its own.

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