Turkey and Stilton Pie
When I was in university residence as a student, we used to play a game to see who could recognize what meals had been repurposed. We called them SYB meals -- Seen You Before.
I must say, our cook was very inventive, and once she heard about the game, she tried even harder to fool us.
There are so many traditional dishes that our creative ancestors devised to use up leftovers. Just think of the wonderful bread and butter puddings and English trifle -- using up stale cake. Rum balls do the same. Leftover vegetables make the best soups, but put half of it through the blender and it opens a whole new world of flavour.
But what to do with all the leftover turkey? That is all always the question at this time of the year.
In my house, Stilton cheese and port or brandy finish a festive meal, so what better than to combine Stilton, turkey and brandy in this recipe.
50 g (31/2 tbsp) butter
15 ml (1 tbsp) olive oil
450 g (1 lb) cooked turkey meat, cut into chunks
3 sweet potatoes, cut into small chunks
225g (1/2 lb) sliced mushrooms
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves only
15 ml (1 tbsp) brandy
100 ml (1/3 cup) chicken stock
150 ml (2/3 cup) 35% cream
75 g (1/4 cup) Stilton, crumbled
375 g package ready-rolled puff pastry
1 small egg, beaten / coarse salt
Heat the butter and oil in a large frying pan, add in the sweet potatoes and cook over a low heat for 8 to 10 minutes until just beginning to soften. Stir in the mushrooms, garlic and half the thyme and cook for a further 4 to 5 minutes.
Add the cooked turkey and heat through.
Preheat the oven to 180 C (350 F). Pour the brandy over the turkey mixture and allow to bubble for 1 minute, then add the stock and cream and warm through gently. Remove from the heat and stir in the Stilton. Do not add any salt, as Stilton is already salty. A good grind of pepper will add some flavour.
Place mixture in a large pie dish.
Unroll the pastry. Cut a pastry lid for the dish. Wet the rim of the dish with water. Lay the pastry over the top and press to the rim firmly. Brush with beaten egg and scatter with salt and remaining thyme. Bake for 20 minutes until golden.