Home made pies are a great way to use up left over stews and casseroles. You can use an electric pie maker or non stick pie tins for smaller pies or make a larger one in a high sided flan tin. I like to use these pie tins:
I’ve struggled with finding a base that’s firm enough to hold liquids, yet still remain edible. I like to use puff pastry for the tops, it has such a lovely flakiness and satisfying crunch, but it doesn’t work so well for the base, tending to go soggy. Finally, after much experimenting, I made the shortcrust pastry from the TM5 Cookbook and it was perfect! I think it would be even more fantastic with half lard, half butter, the way my Mum used to make pastry.
Fillings need to be quite thick so that the base doesn’t absorb too much liquid while baking. I like to thicken left over stews with a bechamel base. Add a Tbsp or so of oil or butter to the Thermomix bowl and heat to melt butter or warm oil. Add around 2 Tbsp plain flour and mix on speed 2. Cook on 80 for a minute or so and add liquid from stew gradually, mixing to prevent lumps. Continue cooking and adding liquid from stew, then add the rest of the stew and cook on 100, reverse, speed 1 for 5 minutes or so until boiling. This can also be done in the microwave or on the stove if you prefer. Cool before using to make pies.
For left over meat or chicken from a roast, it’s easy to make your own sauce or gravy with a bechamel. Saute diced onion, mushrooms etc. in oil or butter, with some herbs, add flour and cook for a minute. Add stock plus cream or milk for a creamy sauce or just plain stock. For dark gravy, add soy sauce, miso or aminos for seasoning and for creamy sauces, stock paste or powder. Make sure it’s very thick and add chopped cold meat or chicken.
I often cut the meat off a shoulder roast and make a stew, but this time, I decided to slow cook it in port. From there, the meat was removed and a gravy made from the juices to make delicious Lamb and Port Pies.
Instead of browning the meat in a frying pan, I popped it in the Air Fryer (I have a Philips XL) minus the basket so it would fit in, baked for 10 minutes on 200 and then popped it into the slow cooker.
This is not so much a recipe as a guide. I’m notorious for not measuring anything, just going by eye and taste.
- 1 shoulder roast of mutton or hogget
- ½ cup port
- 2 small stalks rosemary, leaves only
- 3 tsp beef stock powder
- ground pepper
- 1 Tbsp macadamia oil or any other good oil
- 1 carrot, large chunks
- 1 stick celery, large pieces
- 1 brown onion, peeled and halved
- 2 sheets puff pastry
- double batch shortcrust pastry (I use the Basic Cookbook Recipe for TM5)
- handful mint leaves
- 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
- Brown meat in Air Fryer or frying pan.
- Place into slow cooker bowl.
- Place rosemary leaves, port and beef stock into Thermomix bowl.
- Process on speed 6 for 5 seconds.
- Pour over the meat.
- Cook for 6 hours. Meanwhile, make pastry and refrigerate.
- Remove and allow to cool enough to handle. Reserve the liquid in the fridge to set the fat.
- Remove meat from bones and cut away fat. Refrigerate until needed.
- Place onion, carrot and celery into Thermomix bowl and chop on speed 5 for 3 seconds, Scrape down.
- Add oil and saute for 4 minutes, Varoma, speed 1.
- Add about about 3 Tbsp flour and mix on speed 2, reverse.
- Add reserved stock, skimmed of fat, ACV and mint leaves.
- Cook for 10 minutes, 100, speed 2, reverse.
- Add more time if necessary.
- Thicken further with cornflour if necessary.
- Add to chopped meat. I didn't use all the meat from the roast, reserving some for sandwiches.
- Cool in fridge while preparing pastry for pie tins or pie maker.
- Place filling into pastry bases, top with puff pastry, brush with milk and bake as normal. I use the Air Fryer, cooking for 5 minutes on 200, then 6 minutes on 185.
For oven baking, 5 - 10 minutes on 200, then reduce to 180 and cook for a further 10 minutes.
- Remove to a wire rack to cool or serve straight away.
You can use all puff pastry if using an electric pie maker.
If you're keen on making your own puff pastry, here's the recipe for Rough Puff Pastry