Chicken, Ham & Leek Pie

This was a pain in the ass recipe. As I read over the lengthy instructions, I felt really uncomfortable baking the pie and then adding cream and raw eggs to it after it cooked. Maybe I will try it this way some other time, but I opted not to tonight. As I type the recipe, I understand now, it was not supposed to have a bottom crust, which would have made the added cream slightly less disturbing, but it would not have fit the true definition of pie!

It is from a giant cookbook called ‘Elegant Food’ by Valerie Childs, published 1988.

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  • 1 3 lb chicken (I used 1.5 lb of chicken breast)
  • 1 onion
  • 1 bay leaf
  • Parsley stalks (I had to use dry parsley)
  • salt & black pepper
  • 1/4 lb cooked ham in small pieces
  • 1 lb leeks
  • 2 T. butter
  • 1 c. chicken stock (made when cooking the chicken)
  • (I added 1 Tb of corn starch)
  • double crust pie recipe
  • 1/2 c. heavy cream
  • 1 egg lightly beaten for glazing

Instructions

Line pie pan with bottom crust.

Put the chicken in large saucepan together with onion, bay leaf, parley, and salt and pepper. Cover with cold water and bring gently to a boil. Allow to simmer about 45 minutes until the chicken is tender.

Meanwhile, wash and trim the leeks cut them into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Melt putter in a pan and gently sauce leeks for about 5 minutes. Remove from heat.

Remove chicken from broth and cut into good sized chunks. Put chicken, ham, parsley, and leeks into pie pan. Pour 1 cup of the chicken stock over.**

(Here’s where I deviated from the recipe by sprinkling a tablespoon of cornstarch over chicken. **I also added the cream and egg to the cup of chicken stock instead of adding it later.)

Roll out pastry for top crust. cover pie and seal edges. Cut slits for steam to escape.

Bake for 15 minutes in 400 degrees, then remove pie from oven and brush top with egg. Return to oven for an additional 20 minutes.

The recipe says to remove the pie from oven and “carefully lift a segment of pastry and pour in cream and leftover beaten egg.

Aussie Humble Pie

Aussie humble pie with a steak and ale filling (See link to original recipe below)

Cooks In 4H 30M plus cooling. Difficulty: Not too tricky

*PLEASE NOTE the above statement from the original recipe that this is “not too tricky”, but takes 4.5 hours “plus cooling”. Kind of an oxymoron. This took overnight cooling. Do NOT be fooled, there is nothing humble about this “Simple Steak Pie”.

Ingredients

  • 1 kg beef skirt, chopped into 1cm chunks
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • olive oil
  • 1 whole nutmeg , for grating
  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 2 red onions , peeled
  • 4 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves picked
  • 500 ml pale ale
  • 1 heaped T. corn starch
  • 1 T. tomato purée
  • 250 g button mushrooms
  • 1 large egg yolk, beaten , or semi-skimmed milk

For the pastry:

  • 600 g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
  • 150 g cold unsalted butter, cubed, plus extra for greasing
  • 150 g Cheddar cheese

Method

Place the beef, 1 heaped teaspoon of pepper, a good pinch of salt and 2 tablespoons of olive oil into a large bowl. Grate in half a nutmeg, then toss to coat and set aside.

Roughly chop the carrots, onions and rosemary leaves.

Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a wide, medium pan over a medium heat, then add the beef and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meat is browned all over and any liquid has evaporated, stirring frequently.

Meanwhile, heat another medium pan over a medium heat. Add the chopped veg and a drizzle of olive oil and cook for 15 to 20 minutes, or until softened and caramelised, stirring frequently, then remove from the heat.

Add the ale to the beef, turn the heat up to high and allow the liquid to boil and bubble away, stirring and scraping all those lovely sticky bits from the bottom of the pan. Stir in the corn starch and tomato purée and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, or until it forms a thick paste. Stir the softened veg into the pan, then pour in 2.5 c. of cold water. Roughly slice and add the mushrooms, then bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer for 1 hour 30 minutes, then take off the lid and simmer for another 30 minutes, or until thickened and reduced and the beef is tender, stirring occasionally. Season to taste, transfer to a bowl and allow to cool completely for a few hours or preferably overnight in the fridge.

Meanwhile, make the pastry. Combine the flour and a good pinch of salt in a bowl, then grate in the Cheddar and rub into the flour along with the butter, until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Gradually add 250ml of cold water, stirring continuously to combine, then use your hands to bring it together into a rough dough – be careful not to work it too much. Wrap the dough in cling film and place in the fridge until needed.

Ready to bake:

Preheat the oven to 180ºC/350ºF/gas 4. Grease pie dish with a little butter. Roll out bottom crust on a flour-dusted surface to the thickness of a pound coin. Place in pie pan. Gently press the pastry into the sides of the dish, then roughly cut away the excess.

Fill with meat filling. roll out top crust and cover. Trim away any excess, crimp the edges with a fork and pierce a little cross into the top. Brush over a little more milk or beaten egg, then place in the hot oven for 25 to 30 minutes, or until golden and piping hot through.

Adapted from recipe at http://www.jamieoliver.com/recipes/beef-recipes/aussie-humble-pie/#g079DXWVLx2apGq7.99

Roast Beef Pie

This pie was insidious!  It is written in a paragraph manner which makes following along a real hassle, especially with a recipe that has 23 ingredients. I have simplified it (as much as I could anyway) for the modern cook.  I made several changes but tried to keep it as true to the original as possible.

From “The Gourmet Cookbook, Volume 1″, published 1965.

I started the night before I planned to make this pie, cooking a small roast (2.5 lbs) in a crock pot with about 2 c. water. I rubbed the roast with some spices (same as listed below) and browned it before I put it in the crock pot.

3 T. bacon drippings or oil

3 T. onion, chopped

1/2 c. mushrooms, sliced

2 T. minced green pepper (I used jalapeno)

3 T. flour

3/4 tsp. salt

dash of pepper, mace, thyme, cloves, and nutmeg

2 c. beef stock

2 c. cooked roast beef, cubed (or in my case shredded)

3/4 c. peas

1/2 c. carrots, chopped

1 c. potato (3 small red potatoes)

2 T. sweet and sour gherkins, diced (pickles)

1 T. capers

1 T. parsley

1 tsp. worcestershire sauce

1 clove garlic, minced

1 bay leaf

1 c. madeira wine or sweet sherry

single pie crust for top

Directions 

Parboil potatoes in beef broth (I used what was in the crock pot from the roast), set broth aside and chop potatoes.

Heat bacon drippings or oil, add onion, mushrooms, and pepper, cook for three minutes stirring regularly. Sprinkle with flour, salt, and spices.

Stir in beef broth, cook and stir until it thickens. Add bay leaf.

Add roast beef, peas, carrots, potatoes, gherkins, capers and parsley. Stir.

Add worcestershire sauce, capers and garlic.

Roll out pie crust.

Remove bay leaf, and pour mixture into a deep pie pan. Cover with crust and seal edges. cut slits in crust to vent.

Bake in 450 degree oven for 15 minutes.

Remove from oven and add madeira wine through slits with a funnel. Return to oven and bake for 2 more minutes.

Serve hot.

(It was suggested to melt cheese on the top of this pie, so I shredded some sharp Vermont cheddar for guests to use.)