New Year new healthy diet?? Not before the Christmas leftovers are used up!!

Turkey and Ham pie. 

I hate waste. I’m not a skinflint, or a meanie…I just hate waste, especially food…though I am prone to leaving that one chip on my plate.  We buy and cook so much food at Christmas it’s not surprising that a massive amount of it ends up in the bin. So on Stephen’s day, I stripped the turkey carcass and sliced up the lump of ham that was still standing and portioned them into plastic containers and freezer bags. We grazed on same for a couple of days and then froze what was left. So what to do with them? This recipe is based  on a Rachel Allen recipe from the BBC food and recipes website, with a few twists of my own. The amounts are far from exact…but it’s difficult to get this wrong. And obviously this can be made any time with leftover, or indeed freshly cooked ,chicken, ham or fish etc.

This by the way, is not diet food 🙂

Ingredients – serves 2

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For the filling:

  • Approx 250g chunks of cooked turkey and ham
  • One medium onion, finely chopped
  • 150-200g mushrooms finely chopped
  • Butter
  • Double or single cream…I happened to have had double in the fridge
  • 120mls chick or veg stock
  • A bay leaf
  • Couple sprigs of fresh thyme
  • Salt and pepper

You can add finely diced carrots and / or garden peas if you want. I was going to use carrot but decided not to bother in the end. If you do use carrots or garden peas, cook them first.

For the topping:

1kg of rooster spuds. I know that seems a lot for two people, but I deliberately make too much mash. The worst that can happen is you don’t have enough to cover the filling. You can save any surplus, add an egg and make a frittata for breakfast or lunch.

  • Butter
  • Double cream
  • Spring onion very finely sliced
  • Salt and pepper

Method

Gently sauté the finely chopped onion in some butter for about 7-8 minutes. They should be translucent and not browned.

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Add ¾ of the cream and stock, pinch of salt and pepper, and stir well, leave to simmer for 5-8 minutes

In a separate pan fry off the finely chopped mushrooms in some oil and butter until browned.

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Add the mushrooms, meat chunks, thyme and the bay leaf, a good pinch of salt and pepper to the onions and gently stir, mixing everything evenly, partly cover and simmer gently for 10 minutes before removing the thyme sprigs and bay leaf.

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Peel, rinse and boil the spuds as normal.

Top tip. Very often potatoes get over cooked to the point of being mush when it comes time to mashing them. So when the potatoes have been simmering for about 15 minutes, poke a larger one with a fork. If there is still just a little resistance, drain them and replace the pan lid and leave them for 5-10 minutes. They will gently finish cooking through in the remaining heat and steam and be perfect for mashing. If there is strong resistance then they need to simmer for another few minutes.

Melt more butter in the pan you used to fry the mushrooms, and sauté the finely chopped spring onion for 3-4 minutes before adding the rest of the cream. Warm the cream through for a few minutes before adding to the mashed potato, mix well for a creamy champ mash.

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I use individual gratin dishes (17.5cm / 7”) per person. This give a generous portion per person, so use a size that suits.

2/3rds fill each dish with the filling, top up with the mash, seal the edges and trace over with a table fork.

Sprinkle grated parmesan on top. There is nothing that cannot be made better by grated parmesan on top!

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Place the gratin dishes on a baking tray and cook in a preheated oven at 180 degrees for around 30 minutes.

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Leave them cool for 5 minutes before serving.

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Absolutely the ultimate in comfort food…very very tasty!

Original recipe © Rachel Allen

This version and blog post © Dave Wilkins – Jan 2015

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