Isn't a turkey and ham pie the perfect comfort food?
Chunks of turkey, ham and mushroom, all nestled in a creamy, homemade sauce and topped with a deliciously light shortcrust pastry top. It has to be done!
This is the time to use up all of those leftovers from Christmas or Thanksgiving, that have been sitting in your freezer. So, this recipe is made from scratch, but most of the work is already done.
Best of all, these are all store cupboard ingredients too, so get cracking.
You can't beat a proper British pie to warm you up in the winter. and the good thing about pies is that they are great for using up leftovers.
For this pie, it's all about using up the leftover turkey and ham that you probably still have in your freezer, so it won't go to waste.
The creamy tarragon sauce is homemade, but there isn't any cream needed at all.
The pastry is just a top crust too, so it's not a heavy pie either. It melts in the mouth and is easy to make.
Why you will love this recipe
- Cooks in just 30 minutes. As the filling is already cooked the pastry just needs to be cooked and the filling heated, so it's ready in no time.
- Plenty of variations of meat and vegetables to use up your leftovers. Perfect for using up leftover meat and vegetables from a roast dinner during the week.
- Made from scratch in easy steps with plenty of instructions. If you are really short on time, there are plenty of easy short cuts too.
- The sauce and pastry are made with storecupboard ingredients, so you can make this at any time without rushing out to the shops!
- Turkey - turkey meat, defrosted if frozen. Remove all of the skin as it will become slimy in a pie. Ideally, use turkey thick meat for flavour.
- Ham - cooked ham, defrosted if frozen. Trim off any fat.
- Mushrooms - any variety but smaller mushrooms are easier to quarter for a pie to keep the pieces chunky.
- Oil - vegetable oil or olive oil to cook the mushrooms.
- Tarragon - dried tarragon for the sauce will give more intense flavour than fresh.
- Flour - plain or all purpose flour for the pastry.
- Butter - cold butter for the sauce and pastry. I always use salted and use less salt in the seasoning.
- Milk - semi skimmed or full fat milk.
- Stock - chicken stock from a pot or made up from a stock cube is fine. Make sure to taste the stock, as you may not need to add extra seasoning.
- Salt - regular table salt.
- Pepper - freshly ground black pepper.
- Lard - cold pork fat really helps to make the pastry melting as opposed to an all butter pastry.
- Eggs - preferably large and free range.
See recipe card for quantities.
- Pie dish - 26 cm or 10 inch is ideal
- Large frying pan - skillet
- Wooden spoon - for making the sauce.
- Sharp knife
- Rolling pin - or use a glass bottle.
- Pastry brush
- Food processor - optional. Use a large bowl and a pastry cutter, fork or your fingers to make the pastry by hand.
How to make shortcrust pastry
Start by making the pastry as it needs to rest.
Pastry by hand
I prefer to make shortcrust pastry in the food processor for speed, but if you don't have one you can use the rubbing in method.
Start by cutting the cold butter and lard into small cubes. Put them in a large glass bowl with the salt and flour. If you are using salted butter then leave out the salt.
Gently rub the butter with the flour with your finger tips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. If you prefer you can use a fork or a pastry cutter to get the same effect.
Add enough of a beaten egg until the mixture comes together into a ball. Knead it briefly until the dough is smooth.
Pastry by food processor
If you have a food processor simply tip the ingredients into the bowl, attach the lid and pulse the mixture three or four times until it gets to the breadcrumb stage.
Next add the beaten egg and pulse twice.
At this stage check the dough with your fingers to see if it sticks together when pressed. You might need to add a little water depending on the atmosphere and the dryness of the flour.
Add any extra water a few drops at a time. Too much water can make the pastry tough.
Turn the processor on full and within a few seconds the mixture should come together into a ball.
Chill the dough for 30 minutes.
💭 Top Tip
- The dough needs to rest, so that it is easier to roll out and shrinks less in the oven. I find it's easier to grab the dough with a plastic bag, to save getting sticky. Use the bag to mould the dough into a flattish round shape, ready for rolling later.
Cut the mushrooms, ham and turkey into equal bite sized pieces.
Heat the oil in the frying pan over a medium heat and add the mushrooms.
Cook for about 5 minutes until the mushrooms are softened.
Set the mushrooms aside, while you prepare the sauce.
In the same pan, add the butter until melted.
Tip in the flour and stir together for one minute to cook the flour.
This mixture is known as a roux, and is the basis for thickening many types of basic sauce.
Mix the stock and milk together and gradually pour into the roux mixture, stirring all the time.
As the mixture comes to a simmer it will start to thicken. Keep stirring and cook for a further minute.
The sauce will be thick and smooth.
Check the seasoning, stir in the tarragon and allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes.
💭 Top Tip
- It's important to put a cool filling into a pie or the pastry will start to melt before it goes into the oven and will break up.
Tip the cubed leftover turkey, ham and cooked mushrooms into the sauce and stir well.
Transfer the mixture to the pie dish.
Remove the pastry from the fridge.
Dust the work surface and rolling pin with a small amount of flour.
Roll out the dough to about half a centimetre thick and lay over the pie dish.
Trim off the excess pastry for the decorations.
💭 Top Tip
- Try rolling out pastry between two sheets of cling film. This makes it easier to handle, if your are not confident, and means that there is less mess to clear up.
Use your thumb and index finger, on one hand and index finger on the other hand, to flute the edge of the dough.
Alternatively, use a fork to press a patterned edge.
Roll out the remaining dough to decorate the pie.
I used a holly leaf cutter and just used a knife for larger leaves.
Make whatever shapes you like or leave the pie plain.
Beat the egg with the water to glue the decorations to the pastry.
Use the remaining egg wash to glaze the pie before baking.
⏲️ Baking Time
Preheat the oven and bake at 190 C / 375 F / 170 FAN / Gas 5 for about 30 minutes until golden.
Let the pie rest for a few minutes before serving.
🥗 Side Dishes
- Honey Roast Carrots and Parsnips
- Leeks in White Sauce
- Pan Haggerty
- Roast Potatoes
- Braised Red Cabbage
- Celeriac Puree
- Cavolo Nero Kale
- Parmentier Potatoes
- Broccoli and Cauliflower Cheese
- Lard - use all butter if you prefer.
- Pastry - use ready made shortcrust pastry or puff pastry for a change.
- Sauce - if you don't want to make the sauce, use a can of chicken and mushroom soup and add an extra 100 ml, (3.5 fluid ounces), of milk to make up the volume.
- Chicken - make this a chicken and ham pie with leftover chicken or cheat with a rotisserie chicken or other cooked portions.
- Beef - use leftover beef roast with cooked onions, mushrooms and some crumbled Stilton cheese.
- Pork - use leftover roast pork, lightly cooked mushrooms, leeks and chopped apple.
- Vegetables - swap mushrooms for leeks, broccoli, green beans, peas, carrots or onions.
- Vegetarian - use a combination of softened vegetables and cheddar cheese such as, carrots, swede, parsnips and broad beans.
- Refrigerator - if your cooked meat has not ben frozen then store in the fridge for up to 3 days.
- Freezer - Freeze any leftover portions, using previously unfrozen meat for 2 months. As long as the turkey and ham pie is well wrapped it can be frozen whole, uncooked or cooked.
- To reheat - defrost in the fridge overnight and cook a whole pie as usual. Reheat individual portion in a small dish in the oven and cover with foil until piping hot.
Prepare the sauce and filling in advance and add the pastry a day in advance.
Glaze the pie just before baking.
More pie and pastry recipes
- Chicken and Leek Pie - use leftover chicken or turkey
- Steak and Kidney Pie
- Scalloped Potato Fish Pie
- Raised Turkey Pie
- Chicken in Puff Pastry
- Turkey Pithivier
- Venison Sausage Plait
Turkey and Ham Pie
- Pie dish 26 cm or 10 inch is ideal
- Large frying pan skillet
- Wooden spoon for making the sauce.
- Sharp knife
- Rolling Pin or use a glass bottle.
- Pastry brush
- Food processor Optional. Use a large bowl and a pastry cutter, fork or your fingers to make the pastry by hand.
For the pastry
- 225 g plain flour
- 60 g butter
- 60 g lard
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 1 egg
- 1 egg
- 1 tablespoon water
For the filling
- 400 g cooked turkey
- 300 g cooked ham
- 145 g mushrooms
- 1 tablespoon oil
For the sauce
- 250 ml milk
- 250 ml chicken stock
- 1 teaspoon tarragon dried
- 30 g flour plain/all purpose
- 30 g butter
- ½ teaspoon salt optional
- ½ teaspoon pepper optional
- Cut the butter and lard into small cubes. Put them in a large glass bowl with the salt and flour. If you are using salted butter, then leave out the salt.
- Gently rub the butter with the flour with your fingertips until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs.
- Add enough of a beaten egg until the mixture comes together into a ball. Knead it briefly until the dough is smooth.
- To use a food processor tip the ingredients into the bowl, attach the lid, and pulse the mixture three or four times until it gets to the breadcrumb stage.
- Next add the beaten egg and pulse twice.
- Turn the processor on full and within a few seconds the mixture should come together into a ball.
- Chill the dough for 30 minutes.
- Cut the mushrooms, ham and turkey into equal bite sized pieces.
- Heat the oil in the frying pan over a medium heat and add the mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes until the mushrooms are softened, then set them aside.
- In the same pan, add the butter until melted. Tip in the flour and stir together for one minute to cook the flour.
- Mix the stock and milk together and gradually pour into the roux mixture, stirring all the time.
- As the sauce thickens, keep stirring and cook for a further minute.
- Check the seasoning, stir in the tarragon and allow the mixture to cool for a few minutes.
- Tip the cubed leftover turkey, ham and cooked mushrooms into the sauce and stir well. Transfer the mixture to the pie dish.
- Dust the work surface and rolling pin with a small amount of flour.
- Roll out the dough to about half a centimetre thick and lay over the pie dish.
- Cut away the excess pastry and flute the pie edges. Roll out the remaining dough to decorate the pie. the dough.
- Beat the egg with the water and stick the decorations to the pastry.
- Use the remaining egg wash to glaze the pie before baking.
- Preheat the oven and bake at 190 C / 375 F / 170 FAN / Gas 5 for about 30 minutes until golden.
- Let the pie rest for a few minutes before serving.
Disclaimer: The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.
Detailed instructions for this recipe, including step by step photographs, hints and tips, can be found in the main article
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat.
- Wash hands after touching raw meat.
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods.
- Never leave cooking food unattended.
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds.
- Always have good ventilation when using gas.
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