Okay, so my presentation leaves little to be desired but the flavour totally delivers.
A pie is a great homely meal that pleases everyone and when it is made from leftover roast dinner, it is all the more satisfying… and cheap!
This pie usually serves 3-4 people (depending on how hungry everyone was for their Sunday roast).
- 2 rashers smokey bacon, chopped
- 1 Tbsp olive oil
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 2 leeks, green parts finely sliced, white parts sliced
- 1 tsp thyme
- a handful flat leaf parsley, chopped
- fresh ground black pepper
- (I have omitted the addition of extra salt as this comes from the bacon and the stock)
- Leftover chicken meat (1/2 a bird), in chunky pieces
- 2 Tbsp plain flour
- 3 Tbsp soured cream, creme fraiche, whipping cream or whatever you have that needs using
- Chicken stock (fresh if available or a stock cube made up to about 300ml)
- 1/2 block of ready-made puff pastry
- Pre-heat the oven to 190C
- To make the filling, melt the butter and oil together in a saucepan. Add the bacon and fry until crispy. This will give your pie a lovely subtle smokiness.
- Add the leeks to the pan and stir to cover them in the bacon and butter. Cover with a lid, reduce the heat to low and let the leeks sweat until meltingly tender and soft for about 30 minutes. Stir every so often to prevent catching.
- Add the thyme, black pepper and parsley then mix in the chicken pieces. Sprinkle the flour over and stir well to combine. You don’t want bits of flour that are not stirred in or they will go claggy when the liquid is added. You should be left with a thick and pasty looking mix at this stage.
- Add the cream and stir well to incorporate then gradually add the stock until you achieve a nice consistency. Sometimes you need a lot more stock than is stated. The flour mix will thicken slightly as you stir over a heat so use your judgement and your preference here. Once happy, pour the mixture into an ovenproof pie dish.
- For the pie crust, roll out the half block of pastry on a lightly floured surface to the size of your pie dish and plonk it on top of the pie. No need for neatness here. If there is a bit overlapping, just tuck it under and it will go lovely and puffy when baked. Brush the top of the pastry lightly with milk or egg and bake in the oven for 35-40 minutes. It will be golden, bubbling and puffy.
You can serve this with any vegetables you like, mash, gravy, a big squirt of ketchup or for a little extra effort why not try adding closer to 1L of chicken stock to the filling mix? Sieve the runny mix before placing it in the pie dish. Keep the runny pie gravy aside and add the chunky mix to the dish. Continue assembling the pie as normal and serve with the extra sauce created.
I have made this pie numerous times and never quite the same. It’s a great one to experiment with and tastes lovely every time. Try adding a spoon of pesto to the filling if you don’t have fresh herbs in or adding more vegetables such as mushrooms, asparagus and beans.