It started to actually feel like winter for me for the first time this week, weatherwise that is, and subsequently I had a craving for a big heart pie on Monday.
What’s more hearty than the double-carb bonanza of a pie with potatoes in the filling, I thought to myself, as I pooled a bunch of ingredients I had in my fridge to invent this recipe, which technically should really be called leek, potato, red onion, mature cheddar and sage pie.
Here’s the recipe and a gallery of step by step photos.
You will need:
1 packet of ready to roll puff pastry
5 tbspns plain flour
1 very large (or 2 medium) baking potatoes, chopped into 1cm cubed
2 knobs of butter
1 leek, finely sliced
1 large red onion, chopped
1 large clove of garlic, chopped
1 pint milk
Small handful fresh sage, shredded
100g mature cheddar, grated
1. Preheat the oven to 190°C and grease a deep ovenproof baking dish or pie dish with line.
1. Take a large nonstick saucepan and heat a drizzle of oil in it. Add the onions and garlic and fry for a few mins until they start to soften.
2. Add the cubed potatoes and cook on a medium heat, stirring constantly to make sure the potatoes don’t stick to the bottom of the pan (that’s why a non stick pan is important). I like to leave the potatoes unpeeled because I think it gives better texture and flavour, plus that’s where all the nutrients are apparently, right under the skin.
3. Make sure you leave the potatoes on the hear until they have started to cook through, because you don’t want to end up with any crunch raw bits when the pie comes out of the oven. Add the leeks too and keep stirring until they have softened.
4. Add a large knob of butter to the vegetables and allow it to melt, followed by a couple of tablespoons of flour and stir for a minute so the raw flour taste is cooked out. Just in case you don’t know, this flour and butter mix is called a ‘roux’ and forms the base of a roux sauce.
5. Turn down the heat and pour in about 3/4 pint of milk and stir until it thickens. Add the sage then leave the sauce on a very low heat while you prepare the pastry.
6. Roll out the pastry to a large rectangle and place it in the dish with the excess spastry hanging over the sides – this will form the top of the pie. Brush the inside edges with milk to help then stick together.
7. When the heat is turned off, stir the grated cheddar into the vegetable mixture until it is gooey and melted. Tip the filling into the pie case, fold the remaining pastry into the middle and press the edges together to form a parcel. I ended up cutting some of the excess from the top ends and patching up the middle, which I’m going to pretend is an intentional ‘rustic effect’.
8. Brush the top with more milk (this will give it a lovely texture on top) and bake for about 25 mins in the middle of the oven or until it’s golden brown and crispy.
Serve a big slab of pie with a huge dollop of Branston pickle and your choice of green veg.