British Pie Week – nearly missed it!

Nearly missed it! It is nearly the end of British Pie Week 4 – 8th March but if you nearly missed it don’t worry pies are good any time. It can’t be disputed that the pie is a staple in some of the best British food we have.  Why?  Because they are tasty and adaptable.

Gala pie, chicken pie, steak pie.  Followed by an apple pie.   Mmm …

Pie week was set up by pastry makers Jus-Rol who want to celebrate this fantastic pastry-filled invention with our very own pie week!

Here is a lovely cold pie from Delia Smith’s Cookery Course Part Two, one of my all-time stand by recipe sources (I love this woman and her books). Although I have cheated here and used bought pastry.

Cold Chicken Pie

I pack short crust pastry

1 x 41/2 chicken (cooked)

1 lb pork sausage meat

1 teaspoon ground mace

6 spring onions (finely chopped)

The rind and juice of half a lemon

1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme (or 1/2 teaspoon dried)

I table spoon fresh chopped sage (or 1/2 tablespoon dried)

2 tablespoons of double cream

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

I beaten egg for the glaze

Method

Preheat the oven to 400F/200C/Gas 6

Divide the pastry into 2/3 and 1/3. Roll out the larger piece and line a 8 inch (20cm) round pie tin – although I have used a loaf tin to make the pie easier to slice.

Strip all the flesh from the chicken and chop into 1/2 inch pieces. Place them in a bowl, sprinkle with the mace and season well with salt and pepper.

In a separate bowl combine the sausage meat, thyme, sage, lemon rind and 2 teaspoons of the juice. Pour in the cream and mix everything together well to make a soft mixture (rather like a cake mix), if necessary add a little more cream. Put one third of the sausage mix into the bottom of the pastry lined tin and spread it flat. Now put half the chicken pieces on top and sprinkle and remaining lemon juice, then add another layer of sausage meat, followed by the rest of the chicken and a final layer of sausage meat. As You can see from the photo I got the layers wrong but I don’t think it matters.

Roll the rest of the pastry to make a lid. Seal the edges with water and glaze the top of the pie with beaten egg. Bake on a baking sheet for for 30 minutes then reduce the heat to 350F/180C/Gas 4 and cook for another 1 1/4 hours.

I also made this with pheasant, delicious with a nice crisp carrot and red cabbage salad or hot buttered new potatoes.

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