Thursday, January 6, 2011

Turkey & Sweet Leek Pie

Over the holiday break we spent a lot of time watching our favorite food network and cooking channel shows. One of those favorites is Jamie at Home. We love just about everything this Brit cooks including this delicious Turkey and Sweet Leek Pie.

We cut the recipe in half, then after making the filling we split it again in half. One half of the filling we froze for another dinner and cooked the other half and topped it with the puff pastry. When we want this yummy supper again we'll just pull out the half of filling we froze and top it with the pastry and bake.

The flavor of this meal is really unbelievable. You could easily cut out the turkey for a vegetarian dish or substitute mushrooms, chicken, pork or beef for the turkey. We added mushrooms to the recipe because we had some on hand and need to use them before they went bad. It worked beautifully.

Leeks are also a great winter vegetable. I'm not a big onion person but once sauteed up with the bacon these mild onions turn into sweet deliciousness! This is a great seasonal meal!

Turkey & Sweet Leek Pie

Serves 6-8

• 2 rashers smoked streaky bacon, roughly chopped
• ½ bunch of fresh thyme, leaves picked
• olive oil
• a large knob of butter
• 2kg (about 4.4 lbs) leeks, washed, trimmed; white end chopped into chunks, green end finely sliced
• sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
• 800g (about 1.8 lbs) cooked white turkey meat, torn into big chunks (brown too if you want)
• 2 heaped tablespoons plain flour, plus extra for dusting
• 2 pints turkey, chicken or vegetable stock
• 2 tablespoons of crème fraîche
• 1 x 500g packet puff pastry
• 12 jarred or vac-packed chestnuts, roasted and peeled (optional)
• 2 sprigs fresh sage, leaves picked
• 1 egg, preferably free-range or organic, beaten
Mushrooms (optional)

Preheat your oven to 190°C/375°F/gas 5. Put your bacon in a large pan on a medium heat and add your thyme leaves. Add a lug of olive oil and the butter and let it all fry off a few minutes. Add all of your prepped leeks and fry them off for about 3 minutes so they are well-coated in the butter. Add a pinch of salt and pepper then pop the lid on top, turn the heat down to medium and let them cook away gently for 30 minutes, stirring every 5 to 10 minutes to make sure they don’t catch. There’s going to be enough moisture in the leeks to keep them happy in the pan so they should be soft and melt in your mouth once they’re done.

When your leeks are ready, add the turkey meat to them and stir. If you’ve got a bit of stuffing mixed in there you can put that in too. Add the flour, mix it in well then pour in your stock and stir again. Add the crème fraîche then turn the heat up and bring everything back up to the boil. Have a taste and add a bit more salt and pepper if it needs it then turn the heat off. Pour the mixture through a sieve over another large empty pan and let the wonderful gravy from the mixture drip into the pan while you roll out your pastry.

Get a deep baking dish roughly 22 x 30cm. Dust a clean surface and a rolling pin with a bit of flour and roll your pastry out so it’s about double the size of your dish. Crumble the chestnuts over one half of the pastry then tear a few of the sage leaves over the chestnuts. Fold the other half of pastry on top then roll it out carefully and evenly so you have a rectangle big enough to cover your baking tray. Don’t worry if a few bits stick out here and there.

Spoon that thick leek mixture from your sieve into the pie dish and spread it out evenly. Lay your pastry on top, tuck the ends under then gently score the pastry diagonally with your knife. Add a pinch of salt to your beaten egg then paint this egg wash over the top of your pastry. Pop your pie in the oven for about 35 to 40 minutes or until the pastry is puffed up and golden brown. When the pie is ready, re-heat the lovely gravy and serve with your pie, along with some peas tossed in butter, lemon, salt and pepper and everyone’s happy!

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