Everyone likes a good homemade pie, especially when you don’t have to put much effort into the making! My favourite way of achieving this is by using leftovers from stews for the filling, the meat is already tender and the gravy full of flavour (see my Leftovers Steak & Mushroom Pie). A few weeks ago I made big batch of (Slightly) Healthier Slow Cooker Pot Roast Beef with Vegetable, and froze the extra portions with the gravy from the slow cooker. I defrosted 2 portions, I had intended to use the meat and vegetables, but my pie dish was a little small, so I had to pick out of the carrots and potatoes and reheat them in a covered dish while the pie cooked.
I also made shortcrust pastry using my Kenwood Titanium Chef for the first time. It was really easy, and a lot less time consuming and messy that rubbing in by hand!
In order to have a pie that was a bit healthier (or rather less calorific) I just made a top crust pie. To make sure your pie lid securely sticks to the rim of your pie dish moisten the rim with water and stick some excess raw pastry on the rim. Fill the pie and moisten the pastry rim and place the lid on.
An easy way to decorate your pie (and use excess pastry is to make pastry crescents (fleurons):
- With the outside edge of a small fluted pastry cutter (2”/5cm diameter), cut into your excess pastry, about ½”/1.5cm from the end. Discard the first bit.
- Move the pastry cutter ½”/1.5cm over the first cut and cut your first crescent.
- Continue to do this until you run out of pastry.
I should have taken pictures, but I’ve found a website with fairly good illustrations (only do steps 4-7).
Leftover Pot Roast Beef – 2 portions or enough to fill your pie dish (broken into chunks)
Cornflour – 1 tablespoon (if needed)
Plain flour – 6 oz/180g
Butter – 2 oz/60g
Lard – 1 oz/30g
Water – 1-2 tablespoons
Beaten egg or milk to glaze – 1
Equipment: Kenwood Chef with K-beater, pan, rolling pin, fluted pastry cutter, pastry brush, fork
- Cut the butter and lard into cubes on the plate and put them back in the fridge for a while to get nice and cold.
- Sift the flour into the mixer bowl, add the butter and lard set the dial to speed 2 (a low-medium speed) until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. This takes a few minutes so be patient.
- Add the water and mix until it starts to come together, bring together into a firm dough ball with your hands, leave to rest in a cold place or fridge for at least 30 minutes before rolling out.
- While the pastry is resting add the leftover pot roast and gravy to the saucepan and reheat. You made need to add some cornflour (dissolved in a little cold water) if your gravy is too thin, or more water if you don’t have much gravy. Simmer until the gravy is a nice thick consistency and the beef has been reheated. Leave on a very low heat while you roll out the pie.
- Roll out the pastry on a floured surface, and cut around the pie dish for the lid. Make decorations from the leftover pastry (see above).
- Moisten the rim with water and stick some excess raw pastry on the rim.
- Fill the pie dish, moisten the pastry rim and place the lid on. You will need to work quite quickly with a hot filling so the butter in the pastry doesn’t melt.
- Crimp the edges with a fork.
- Brush with beaten egg or milk. Place on pastry decorations and brush with egg or milk again. Prick a couple of holes in the top.
- Put in a preheated oven (200ºC/ Fan 180º/ Gas 6). Cook for about 30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown.
- I served my pie with leftover vegetables I’d reheated in the oven while the pie was cooking.