Well hello there! I hope you had a cracking Christmas. Ours was slightly delayed as we were all horribly jet-lagged and didn’t wake up until nearly 10.30 (a first in this house, I can tell you). We had a pared back Christmas after our big Orlando holiday and do you know what? It was probably one of my favourites. Presents were kept to a minimum, dinner was simply roast turkey and sides – no fancy stuff – and we spent the evening watching films, stuffing chocolates and eating a block of cheese. Heaven. But now of course, it’s Boxing Day, which means it’s time for Christmas leftover pie, one of our favourite meals of the whole year, and the best way to use up all those delicious leftovers. My Dad loved Christmas leftover pie (known as Boxing Day pie in our house), so we’ll be raising a glass to him when we tuck in (can you believe it’s a year?).
The best thing about this pie is that you can literally bung everything in. Got leftover roasties? Shove them in. Stuffing? Yup. Veggies? Definitely. I serve it simply with some steamed veg and mash, but it’s gorgeous served cold with pickles too. Here’s how to make our Christmas leftover pie.
Christmas leftover pie
For the pastry:
400g plain flour
1 large free range egg, beaten
Salt and pepper
For the pie filling:
2 tbsp oil
1 large onion, chopped
450g pork sausages (or leftover stuffing)
Splash of Marsala
500g leftover turkey, shredded
180g whole chestnuts (vacuum packed), chopped
Leftover Christmas ham, chopped
100g cranberries (fresh or frozen – or a big spoonful of cranberry sauce)
Small tub double cream
500ml chicken stock
First, make the pastry (although shop bought is fine too): cut the cold butter into cubes, add it to the flour and season well. Gently rub in the butter using just your fingertips until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs.
Add the egg and a couple of tablespoons of cold water to the mix – you’ll need just enough to bring it together into a rough dough. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and pop it in the fridge to rest while you make the filling.
To make the pie filling, heat the oil in a large heavy based pan and fry the chopped onion until translucent. If you’re using sausages, take the meat out of the sausage skins and add into the pan. Fry gently, breaking up the sausage meat, until it’s golden brown (otherwise just bung in your leftover stuffing here). Tip the mixture out into a bowl, then pop the pan back on the heat and add a generous splash of Marsala to deglaze the pan, scraping up any stuck bits with a wooden spoon.
Add the sausage mixture back in, along with the shredded turkey, chestnuts, ham and cranberries, plus any leftover vegetables. Stir together then pour over the chicken stock and swirl in a generous glug of double cream. Cover the pan, turn down the heat and allow to cook for about 20 minutes.
Turn off the heat, then allow the filling to cool completely while you roll out the pastry. Divide the pastry roughly in two and reserve half for the lid. Roll out the base to about 5-6mm thick, moving the pastry around in 1/4 turns as you roll until you’ve got a rough circle. Roll the pastry up around the rolling pin, then unroll it over your pie dish. Push it down gently, and use little extra bits to fill any holes or cracks.
Using a slotted spoon, pile the cooled filling into the pie (if the filling is still warm it will begin to melt the butter and you’ll get the dreaded ‘soggy bottom’). Reserve the extra gravy to serve at the table. Roll out the pastry lid, then top the pie and crimp the edges with your fingers, or a fork so that they’re sealed together. If you want to decorate the pie, stick your design to the pastry with a little beaten egg, then give the whole lot a final egg wash. Refrigerate the pie until needed.
To cook: preheat the oven to 180/gas 4, then bake for around 45 minutes or until golden brown.
Have a wonderful, chilled out Boxing Day xx