In her final Christmas recipe, our wunderchef Claire Goodwin puts those inevitable Christmas leftovers to good use.
These pasties taste rather exquisite, but are in fact made from your Crimbo Day leftovers. They are easy-peasy to throw together and it doesn’t matter if they aren’t neat and tidy as they are meant as a snack for that afternoon in front of crappy Channel 5 films on Boxing Day, preferably with a beer. And as with last week’s shortcrust pastry masterclass, this recipe will teach you to whip up a basic white sauce which you can customise for many different recipes.
Picture the scene. It’s Boxing day. It’s heading for midday; you have stumbled out of bed, the feint heady ache of a hangover marring your vision and causing you to stumble over a novelty mug and some singing socks. The saving grace is that the hangover is not too hideous as you sensibly drank ‘moderately’ over 13 hours as opposed to bingeing ‘moderately’ over five). Your new [Christmas] pyjamas have a sprouty, farty whiff and some dried fruit enmeshed in the once fluffy fleece. There’s a little bit of that smoked cheese that’s packed in a tan coloured condom in your fringe. You head for the kettle. A brew is in order. And maybe a few Quality Street. Then you had better have a think about the order in which you are going to eat the gargantuan remnants of yesterday’s first world obscenities.
So. Let’s have a think about some forward planning. Pastry is really easy to whack together, cling film and put in the fridge or freezer (dependent on how organised you are) so it is ready for your next bout of gluttony. Or make sure you buy some (this is swearing in my house). You should have copious amounts of turkey left, and some streaky bacon. The bacon doesn’t need to be raw, if you have crispy remnants from the roast yesterday, you can chop that and use it. Also, if you have any sausage meat stuffing left over, you can throw some of that in the filling too. I use the brown meat of the bird usually – the legs and wings – as it is tastier. But you can just chop up whatever you want to use – it is all flavour and there’ll be a lovely sauce to bind it together.
For the shortcrust pastry (see last week’s chocolate and penuche tart for a masterclass):
plain flour, 400g plain flour
butter or lard or mix of both, 200g (I like all butter shortcrust)
water, 30ml (approx)
Rub the fat into the flour to make fine breadcrumbs, or blend together in a food processor. Stir in the salt. Add the water bit by bit until you form a rough dough. Turn out of the bowl/food processor and work minimally on a floured surface so that it becomes a ball. Do not knead, just do enough for it to come together. Wrap in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for at least an hour.
for the white sauce
butter, 25g (please use butter, it tastes rubbish with marg)
full fat milk, 700ml
Salt and pepper
Melt the butter in a pan on the hob. Don’t let it brown. As soon as it is liquid, whisk in the flour. This gives you a roux. Add your milk slowly, whisking over the heat until the sauce thickens then adding the next bit of milk. Season at the end. Leave to one side with cling film over the top (you need the cling film to touch the sauce as otherwise you will trap air. This will cause a skin to form. Not a tragedy if it does but easier if it doesn’t). Set to one side
for the pasty filling
onion, 1 large, chopped finely
Splash of oil, knob of butter
Salt and pepper
Three large Portobello mushrooms or equal weight of any other mushrooms, chopped
good quality smoked streaky bacon, 400g
Around 500g of turkey meat. To be fair, as much as you like really. I used a full leg and a few handfuls of leftover sausage meat stuffing as well.
cream, around 100ml
Heat a frying pan and add the oil and butter. Your oil will stop your butter from burning and you will get the lovely buttery taste. Sauté your onions. Season with salt and pepper. When your onions are soft, add your bacon and cook until browned and the fat is crispy. Next, add your mushrooms, allow them to absorb the juices. They will continue to cook in the pasty once in the oven so don’t worry if they are firm. If your onions are a little cheaper they will let off water so you need to drain that off.
Add your turkey and sauté, combining the lovely ingredients. Then add the white sauce and combine. You should be left with a luxurious stew. Taste and add seasoning as necessary. Add your cream and combine. Simmer for a couple of minutes and then leave to cool. It MUST be cool when you assemble your pasties or you will achieve the dreaded SOGGY BOTTOM.
Make your pasties
1. Heat your oven to 180ºC/gas mark 5.
2. Lightly brush two oven trays with veg oil.
3. Roll out your shortcrust to around 3-4mm.
4. Cut circles using a side plate as a guide.
5. Place a large spoonful of filling in the middle of the pastry circle. Eggwash around the edge of one half of the circle. Fold the circle over and seal with your fingers. Using a fork, flute around the edges to ensure the seal.
6. Place on the trays and make two holes in the top to avoid explosions.
8. Repeat until you have used everything.
9. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. The pastry should be firm to the touch and snap crisply when split.
N.B. I served mine with cheap white bread (yes, cheap white bread; the kind that is too white and sticks to the roof of your mouth); a pint (could easily sub this for a brew) and a few very sour cranberries to nibble on (this is a bit Waitrose, substitute potato wedges if you prefer).
Enjoy. And DO NOT change out of those farty pyjamas until tomorrow. Netflix is calling.
Claire is a speech therapist, baker, cake decorator, sometime radio guest and writer. She writes about food, being fat and living with mental health problems @bake_therapist; www.baketherapy.co.uk; www.facebook.com/CakeChemistryUK