I don’t like food waste. There are the usual fine ethical reasons for despising it (which I fully support) but if I’m honest, the killer reason for me is that I see it as my wages ending up in the bin – and that pisses me off. Leftovers make perfect pie filling.
So at Christmas, when there is a glut of food and an empty bank account I like to try and get as much as possible out of the food that I’ve bought. That was the inspiration behind “Boxing Day Pie” just using up my leftovers making sure I get my money’s worth.
I didn’t know it would be such a success, I was probably just faffing around, trying to avoid looking for the 1800th set of batteries. (I will deny this if asked of course)
Boxing Day Pie is now one of our most important Christmas traditions – in my husbands eyes at least and Christmas Dinner has turned into the warm up act.
For all that it is delicious, hot or cold, it is embarrassingly easy to make. Mostly it’s just an assembly job – you have already done the hard work the day before!
In addition to your leftovers, you will need a roll of ready made puff pastry and a beaten egg to do an egg wash with. That’s it!
Put your apron on (for effect) and dust some flour on your cheek – this is easy but no one else needs to know that! Pre heat the oven as per the instructions on your brand of pastry. Now dust a baking sheet with some flour or put down a layer of baking parchment or silicon liner and unroll the pastry.
There wouldn’t be many rules with this – but I find to help give the Pie a crisp base, no one likes a soggy bottom, it is a good idea to use something dry as your first layer; I used stuffing and suggest that you follow up with a layer of mashed potato. This means that for further layers any excess juices will be mopped up without affecting the pastry.
Now start adding everything else. Pictured is the version everyone else eats with turkey and ham, being veggie I follow all of these instructions but substitute the meat for crumbled nut roast for my own version which I try valiantly not to share.
Have a look in the fridge, what else did you keep; carrots, sprouts (halve these) roast potatoes (quarter these) red cabbage, layer all of this up
I then added cranberry sauce down the sides to finish it off; I didn’t have any leftover gravy or I would have tried that too – though it would probably require thickening with cornflour to prevent sogginess.
Now fold over the sides, I like to plait them but this is not necessarily and works perfectly well without extra faff.
If you want to plait use a knife or a pizza wheel to cut strips at a 45 degree angle up the sides
Cross the strips other each other and tuck in the ends, apply the egg wash with a pastry brush and bake for 15 – 20 minutes or however long it says on your pastry packet. If you have a timer – set it.
Now I wouldn’t dream of endorsing getting sozzled – but if you feel like it, this is your opportunity to use up any leftover prosecco, red wine or pesky Gin that is cluttering your cupboards.
Once the time is up, remove from the oven and transfer to a serving plate that you can cut on.
Summon your hoard in the traditional manner and if they are old enough inform them that you are now off duty – they can fend for themselves the rest of the day (including any dishes that need washing up). Grab a slice of your delicious pie, bask in the glory of your adoring family, use a set of earplugs to ignore any further demands and put your feet up for a well earned rest.
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This years vegetarian version