We have had our Christmas this weekend as it was the only time that we could all get together. There are new grandparents in law to consider now, and some members of the family work for the emergency services and so do not get the special days off work. Yesterday was our Boxing Day and I was entertaining the family at my house and so I wanted to make an easy, frugal meal.
As is the tradition, the meal used up some of the Christmas left overs. We made a turkey and ham pie using ham and turkey left over from our Christmas meal the day before. We were cooking for 7 people and I did not have the time or inclination to start messing around making a couple of pies and so I just rolled out the pastry flat on to a baking sheet and divided it into 8 with a knife.
They rose individually as I used a roll of bought puff pastry that had been a reduced, yellow sticker item (bought in October and frozen). It works with home made short crust pastry too, but you have to be careful as the crusts are more brittle when you handle them and can break. Doing this allowed every one to have an individual pie top, and the pie filling was served separately in a casserole dish. It meant that the gluten free people didn’t have to have a separate meal. I say it is a deconstructed pie as it sounds chef like!
We made the filling for the pie by boiling some turkey bones in the milk for a few minutes (to add taste), turning it off and then leaving them to stew for 20 minutes. The white sauce was then made with the sieved milk. We grated a bit of extra mature cheese into the sauce and crumbled in a chicken stock cube for extra taste. The meat was cut up into a dish and the sauce poured on, and mixed in, and a lid or foil was put on. It was heated it in the oven for 20 minutes whilst other things were cooking, and then we gave it a stir. It is so easy, and cheap as you can add frozen peas or even left over cut up cooked vegetables if you want, in order to pad it out and make it go further. Even the food critic in our family didn’t realise it was a frugal meal as it tasted so good. ( Click How to make white sauce).
As usual I forgot to take pictures as I was busy cooking, but we still have a couple of pie lids left that have been overnight and in the fridge and so I have photographed them. I will freeze these and then crisp them up in the air fryer to use on top of some stew next week. I sometimes use them on top of compote to make a fruit pie, and have even used on top of a vegetable curry if we did not have any rice. To save time on the day you could cook the pie crusts the day before, and them warm them in an air fryer or oven on the day.
We did this with our Yorkshire puddings. I think we went a bit over the top with the Yorkshire puddings but the left overs will freeze and we can eat as a toad in the hole with a sausage, or fill them with stew or a vegetarian dish. When I was a child my Gran used to serve them with jam or treacle for a pudding.
Do you have ways that you save time and effort when cooking meals on Boxing Day? Sometimes we just put a turkey curry into the slow cooker and go out for a walk. We have left over ham and chicken left and so I might make this again next week and try to remember to take photos so that I can add some!