Hi folks BBC2 here, I hope you had a good and hopefully restful (as if) Christmas. As you may know we had a debate about what to have for our Christmas dinner. I thought we could have a curry as there was just the two of us, but BBC1 wanted a traditional festive dinner. But this time I stuck to my guns and cooked what BBC1 told me we were having, turkey with all the trimmings…I also feel you need to be flexible at Christmas as it is the season of good will.
Turkey, so much turkey even though we had a small bird there was plenty of it and that’s the thing, what to do with the leftover meat? We had the cold cuts with bubble and squeak and turkey sandwiches, but I could not make a curry out of it, that would be like rubbing salt in the wound! I chatted to BBC1 about what to do with the leftovers and he wanted to make some of the turkey into a soup – Turkey, Stuffing & Vegetable Soup, and that I could make a pie. Now I know that BBC1 likes pork pie but doesn’t like the pork just the pastry and the jelly filling, so with this in mind I used some of the leftover turkey, ham and sausage stuffing and made a hot water crust pie.
Because I used the leftovers to make this pie the quantities for the filling are down on the list of ingredients it’s more a case of what you have leftover or what you can use to bulk out the pie. There was not enough sausage stuffing leftover so I had to make some more using dried sage & onion stuffing with 4 raw sausages, you could also use different meats like chicken or pork if your people will eat it!
Hot water crust pastry
475g/1lb plain flour plus extra for rolling
50g/2oz cold butter cut into cubes
150g/5¼ beef dripping or lard cut into cubes
½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper
1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
1 beaten egg for glazing
cold cooked turkey
cold cooked ham
3 to 4 tablespoons of mustard piccalilli
For the jelly
½ pint chicken stock
1 sachet gelatin
1 lb loaf tin
To make the pastry put the flour and pepper into a food processor and pulse, then add the cubed butter and 50g/2oz of the beef dripping/lard and pulse until you have a fine bread crumb consistency. Transfer to a bowl, and make a well in the centre. In a small saucepan put the remaining beef dripping/lard, salt and water and bring it to a simmer until the fat and salt have dissolved then using a wooden spoon pour the hot liquid into the flour and mix until it is incorporated. Turnout the pastry onto cling film and set to one side at room temperature for 30 minutes or until it is cool enough to work with.
Cut the cold leftover turkey into slices as if you are making a sandwich and do the same with the ham, the sausage stuffing cut slightly thicker as I found that it can crumble a bit if you try to cut it thinly, you are looking for enough to fill the pie like you are assembling a tureen. Now lightly oil and line the loaf tin with greaseproof paper, ensuring you leave enough overhangs at each end of the tin to help lift the pie when it has cooked and gone cold.
Set aside just under a third of the pastry for the top and rollout the remaining pastry on a lightly floured surface to the thickness of a pound coin, approx 1/8th inch, then using the rolling pin lift the pasty over the tin and lower it into the tin and helping it into each corner so that the tin is lined, don’t worry if the pastry tears as you can patch it with the trimmings, just as long as when the pie has cooked the jelly has no way of running out. The tin should be lined so the pastry just comes above the tin. Now start to put the filling in by layers, I started with the stuffing then the turkey followed by the ham and repeated until it was about two thirds full, I then spread a layer of the piccalilli but you can use what pickle or chutney you like, and continue until the pie is filled, rollout the remaining pastry to make the lid, brush the edge of the pie with a little beaten egg and place the lid on and cut off the excess then crimp the edges. Then make two or three pea size holes in the top to allow you to pour in the jelly when it’s cooked. Before cooking chill the pie for 30 minutes.
Brush with a little beaten egg and place in a preheated oven 160c fan bake for 30 minutes then take the pie out and brush with the beaten egg again and return the pie to the oven for another 15 minutes then remove the pie again and brush with the egg and return the pie to the oven and cook for another 15 minutes. The pie should be a golden brown colour now remove it from the oven and allow it to cool, after an hour pop in the refrigerator for a couple of hours. Leave the pie in its tin until after you have put the jelly in and it has had time to set.
I was lucky, because BBC1 had made the turkey soup and I was able to use some of his stock for the jelly but you can make the jelly by simply dissolving a chicken stock cube in a ¼ pint of hot water and when it has all dissolved and stock is hot, if not pop it into the microwave to ensure it is hot, then add the sachet of gelatine to the hot stock and mix all the time until the gelatine has dissolved. When you pull out the spoon from the stock you should not see any gelatine grains on the spoon, if you do see some grains then add the rest of the hot water to make up the ½ pint needed and continue to mix. Now using a funnel pour the stock through the holes until the stock stops going into the pie, do the same with the other holes until the pie is full, try not to overfill the pie, allow to cool and then place back in the refrigerator for a couple of hours.
I think this tastes really good even though I do say so myself and it’s a good way of using leftover, it cuts well so you can have a thick slice with a salad or on its own as a snack, but as all ways please do give it a try or just let us know what you think.
BBC1: I must say I think this was a triumph! The pie is so tasty and works so well, a great use of leftovers instead of the ubiquitous curry! 😉😘😉