We’ve now taken down the Christmas tree. The cottage looks so empty without it, and the other decorations. After a day of the fire burning the cottage it has just about warmed up. As the cottage doesn’t have central heating we can’t set it so we have a warm house to get home to. It’s a case of once we get home after a few days away, getting a fire going (which never lights as well in the cold) and sitting it out until it is warm, in amongst layers of fleecy blankets and copious warming cups of tea.
It was a bit of a surprise when we awoke yesterday morning, to get ready for the first day back in work, to find a blanket of snow coating the ground. We’ve been predicted more snow in the next few days. Cold wintry weather like this requires comfort food of the puff pastry kind…pies. I know you can make pies with different pastry, but for me the perfect pie is a pie full of filling, with a decent amount of sauce and a puff pastry lid.
A few days after Christmas the leftover ham was reincarnated into a Ham & Leek pie and as requested by the lovely Charlotte @ The Great Big Veg Challenge here it is again. In theory you could make this pie with a multitude of leftovers, just don’t forget to briefly cook the veg before you add it to the pie. In the first pie I made a few days after Christmas I added Green Thunder to the cheese sauce which was absolutely delicious.
Ham & Leek Pie
3 small leeks, sliced
handful of ham, sliced
25g plain flour
75g cheese, grated
2 tsp mustard powder
1 bay leaf
Salt & Pepper
250g puff pastry
2 tbsp milk or 1 beaten egg
1) Preheat oven to 200oc. Gently fry off the leeks in a small amount of butter until softened, stir in the ham then take off the heat while you prepare the sauce.
2) In a saucepan melt the butter then whisk in the flour. Keep whisking for a minute to cook the flour. Slowly add the milk and whisk until you have no lumps. Add the bay leaf
3) Gradually bring the sauce to the boil, stirring all the time to stop it burning. Simmer the sauce until it has thickened. Take off the heat, remove the bay leaf then stir in the cheese and mustard powder. Season then add to the leeks & ham.
4) Pour the cheesy leek mix into the bottom of a deep ovenproof dish. Roll out the puff pastry to the size of the dish. Place the pastry on top of the leeks and place 2 slits in the pastry (this stops the pastry going soggy). Brush the pastry with either the milk or eggs then bake for 25-30 min, until pastry is risen and golden.