Use ready-rolled puff pastry for a fuss-free, midweek masterpiece - fill this pie with pulled ham hock and a creamy, herby sauce
- 50g butter
- 1 onion, chopped
- 2 celery sticks, chopped
- 50g plain flour
- 600ml milk
- 90g pack pulled ham hock
- small pack tarragon, leaves only, chopped
- 1 egg, beaten
- 320g pack ready-rolled puff pastry
- cooked peas, to serve
MethodIn a shallow casserole dish, melt the butter over a medium heat on the hob. Add the onion and celery, and fry gently to soften. Add the flour and stir to coat the vegetables. Slowly add the milk, stirring really well after each addition, making sure there are no lumps of flour before you add the next splash of milk. Once all the milk has been added, bring to a simmer to thicken, then fold in the ham hock and the tarragon. Season to taste, then add about half the beaten egg.
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 400g chicken breast, cut into small chunks
- 140g thick-sliced ham, roughly chopped
- roughly 450g leftover roast potato, large ones halved
- 2 leeks, trimmed and sliced
- 1 heaped tbsp plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 200ml white wine
- 400ml chicken stock
- 3 heaped tbsp crème fraîche
- 375g shortcrust pastry sheet (use fresh if you're freezing the pie)
- beaten egg, to glaze
- Heat half the oil in a large frying pan and brown the chicken for about 5 mins. Tip into a 22 x 28cm ovenproof pie dish, then evenly scatter over the ham and roast potatoes. Heat the remaining oil and soften the leeks for about 5 mins, then stir in the flour for 1 min.
- Pour in the wine and stock. Bring to the boil and, stirring continuously, boil rapidly to reduce to a thick sauce. Take off the heat, then stir in the crème fraîche and seasoning. Pour over the pie filling and leave to cool.
- Unroll the pastry and cut off a small strip to make decorations (if you like). Roll the remainder to fit the dish and place on top of the pie. Use a fork to crimp the edges and press the pastry to the edge of the dish. Make a small hole in the centre, then cover well with cling film. Freeze for up to 3 months. For best results, defrost at room temperature for 8 hrs.
- Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Brush pie with egg to glaze (making sure the steam hole hasn’t sealed up). Cook for 30-40 mins, until golden and hot through.
- 175g plain flour
- 1 tbsp English mustard powder
- 1 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1kg beef cheek or other braising cut of beef, cut into large chunks
- 400g prepared ox kidney or lamb's kidney- ox kidney cut into chunks, lamb's kidneys halved
- 3 tbsp vegetable oil
- 300g bacon lardon, or 12 rashers streaky bacon, chopped)
- 4 carrots, chopped
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 300ml bottle light ale
- 400ml strong beef stock (cubes or fresh)
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 5-6 thyme sprigs
- 1 tall piece bone marrow, on the bone (optional)
- 400g plain flour
- 1 tbsp English mustard powder
- 200g lard or butter (for the best results, half of each)
- 2 eggs, beaten
- First make the pastry (it’s best if it rests). Put the flour, mustard powder, some flaky sea salt and the lard and/or butter in a food processor and pulse until the texture of breadcrumbs. Add half the egg and pulse again. Add a few tbsp cold water, if needed, until it forms a short pastry. Knead quickly into a ball and chill in the fridge. Can be made 2 days ahead or frozen for 1 month.
- Heat oven to 160C/140C fan/gas 3. Mix the flour with the mustard powder and cayenne pepper, then coat the beef chunks and kidneys in the flour – keeping them separate. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole and brown the beef chunks in batches. Set aside, then brown the kidneys and tip into a colander to drain. In the same pan, sizzle the bacon and add the carrots, onions and bay, and cook until browned. Pour over the ale, stock and tomato purée, then reduce quickly, scraping the base of the dish.
- Return the beef chunks to the dish, nestle the thyme into the mix, then season. Cover and braise in the oven for 2 hrs, stirring the kidneys into the stew halfway through. Can now be kept in the fridge for up to 2 days, or frozen for 1 month.
- Heat oven to 220C/200C fan/gas 7. To make the pie, tip the stew into a baking dish or shallow casserole. Place a piece of bone marrow in the middle, if using; if not, an upturned egg cup will do the same job. Roll out the pastry to fit the dish with enough to overhang, then drape over the stew, seal the edges and cut off the excess. Use trimmings to make leaves to decorate. Brush the pastry all over with the remaining egg, sprinkle with flaky sea salt and bake for 40 mins until golden. Leave to rest for 10 mins, then serve the pie with teaspoons for the bone marrow, for those who want it.
- 200g fresh young leaf spinach
- 500g pack bread -mix
- 6 rounded tbsp tomato sauce, passata or pasta sauce from a jar
- 6 artichoke hearts from a can, jar or the deli counter
- 4 rounded tbsp crème fraîche
- 4 thin slices ham, cut in half
- 100g grated emmental or gruyère
- Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Wash the spinach, place in a colander in the sink, then pour over a kettleful of boiling water, to wilt the leaves. Drain well, pressing out as much water as possible, then roughly chop.
- Make up the bread mix following pack instructions, then divide in half. Roll out one half to a round about 35cm, then transfer to an oiled baking sheet. Thinly spread with tomato sauce to within 2cm of the edge, then season with salt and pepper. Drain and dry the artichoke hearts if they come from a can or jar, then thickly slice. Scatter over the tomato sauce with the spinach, then space about 8 dollops of crème fraîche on top, covering each with half a slice of ham. Sprinkle with grated cheese.
- Roll out the other half of the dough to the same size as the first one. Brush the edges of the dough with water and cover the round of dough and vegetables, pressing the edges to seal them. Make a slit in the centre of the dough with the point of a knife, then bake for 25-30 mins until golden and crisp. Cut into wedges and serve with a green salad.
- To prepare ahead: Make up the pizza pie and freeze, uncooked, on the baking sheet, then remove and wrap in foil when firm. To cook, return to the baking sheet and leave to defrost for 2 hrs, then cook as above. If you prefer to freeze it ready-cooked, simply defrost and reheat in the oven for 10 mins.