Tuesday, November 22, 2016

Leftover turkey pie

The English tradition of sealed, raised meat pies meets American Thanksgiving leftovers.

This method of making meat pie crust is not very well known anymore. But it was very commonly used in the Old Days when refrigeration was rare. It completely seals in the meat and gravy and doesn't leak. In the town of Melton Mowbray, it is used to make their famous pork pies. They make the dough a little more dense and build it up without a form, so the sides bow out a bit, then when it's baked, pour in melted aspic and allow it to cool together. The aspic gells and seals the meat. If they're not cut, they can keep a very long time. Much of the old timey cooking methods are actually meant as ways of preserving foods.

With this kind of meat pie crust, you can do any sort of meat or veg pie, and of course it keeps and reheats beautifully. The real blessing is the spring form cake pan. You can't easily buy English pork pie pots here, and the spring form thing allows you to just lift the sides away without any bother. Much easier with baking paper. The carta al forno helps too.

(Had to steal these pics from the innernet. My camera was damaged in the quake.)

1 pound of flour
1/2 tsp each salt and sugar
200 g lard (butter will do)
1/4 cup each water and milk
1 egg

Warm the lard, with the water and milk and beaten egg, over a low flame until the lard is melted. Wisk.

Make a well in the dry ingredients and pour in the mixture while stirring, to form a soft dough. Knead gently a few times and set aside in a bowl to rest.

Leftover turkey dinner

Cut up the meat into nice big meaty chunks and put it in a large mixing bowl. Season to taste with salt, pepper and red wine. You could melt a turkey or "delicato" soup cube in a few spoonfuls of water in the microwave and mix that in.

Line a spring form cake pan with baking paper. (I didn't do it this neatly; just sort of stuffed it in.) Into this, place a large blob of dough in the centre and use your fingers to press it outward until you have covered the bottom of the pan.

Add lumps of dough around the edge, and press those gently upwards until the pan is entirely lined with dough. This can be a bit tricky and takes some patience.

The dough should be no more than 1/4 inch (1cm) thick and even all over. It will tend to be thicker in the corners. Make sure there is a little bit hanging over the edges of the pan.

Take another bit of dough, roll it out on the counter and save it for the top. Cut three good vents. Big ones.

Put the pan and the top into the fridge for a few minutes for it to stiffen up a bit.

When it's a bit less goopy, take a layer of turkey meat and spread evenly over the bottom of the pie. Do a layer of leftover stuffing, then a layer of whatever you've got leftover. Corn is especially good. Do a thin layer of cranberry sauce, then more turkey. Keep filing up until the pie is full. To keep the pie from being dry, include plenty of gravy. Don't worry, it won't run out if you put a layer of stuffing in to absorb the liquid.

When it's full, flip the edges of the dough over the top and lay the top bit over it all. Pinch the edges together well.

You can brush it with an egg to give it a bit of shine.

Place in the oven and bake for maybe 30 minutes.

V. good with hot English mustard or Branston Pickle.

You're welcome.


G. Thomas Fitzpatrick said...

I love raised meat pies!

Hilary Jane Margaret White said...

Me too, and they're so easy! I did steak and kidney (and mushroom) the other night. Just like grandma used to make!