A pot pie is a baked savoury pie completely encased in buttery flaky pastry. This one has become a firm favourite at Higgidy and features regularly on the menus for our summer festival season. We can’t reveal the original Higgidy recipe because it’s a closely guarded secret, but this is a jolly good version – perfect for sharing with your family at lunchtime.
Equipment: 1 x 2 litre ovenproof pie dish; heart-shaped pastry cutter
35ml olive oil
4 large leeks, sliced into fat rounds
2 large shallots, finely diced (or an onion will do)
500g free-range chicken meat (a mix of breast and thigh), chopped into rough chunks
300g good-quality cooked ham, roughly chopped
3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped
4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves stripped and finely chopped
2 tbsp plain flour
300ml hot good-quality chicken stock
200ml single cream
150g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
1 rounded tbsp. Dijon mustard
A little plain flour, for dusting
800g all-butter puff pastry
1 medium egg, beaten
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas mark 6.
- Heat 35g of the butter with the olive oil in a large, deep, heavy based pan over a medium heat, add the leeks and shallots, stir well and cover. Lower the heat and cook for 7-8 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.
- Add the chicken and increase the heat. Stir frequently for about 6 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked through. Remove from the heat and add the ham and herbs. Give it all a good stir, then add the flour and stir to coat.
- Add the stock, stir well and return the pan to the heat. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 2-3 minutes, to thicken. Remove from the heat, add the cream, cheese and mustard and stir well. Taste your filling and season with a little salt and black pepper if needed. Leave to cool
- Using the remaining butter, lightly grease your ovenproof dish. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out two-thirds of the pastry (about 500g) to about 3mm thick and use it to line the dish, letting the pastry drape over the sides. Pile in the cooled filling.
- Dust the work surface with more flour, then roll out the remaining pastry to about 1cm thick and cover the whole pie with it, allowing the pastry to come just over the edges. Trim away any excess and press the edges together with your fingers to seal or use the back of a fork. If you’ve got time and are feeling confident, you can crimp the edges (see page 210). Generously glaze the top with beaten egg.
- Scrunch up the pastry trimmings and roll them out to about 3mm thick. Cut out some heart shapes and decorate the top of the pie with them, glazing with more beaten egg.
- Bake the pie on a baking sheet in the oven for 20 minutes, then lower the heat to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4 and bake for another 20 minutes or until the top is puffy and golden. Serve immediately with a big bowl of garden peas topped with fresh mint and a knob of butter.
Extracted from The Higgidy Cookbook, out now, published by Quercus.