How to turn Christmas Day leftovers into a stunning pie – recipe

·4 min read

Turn the remains of the festive table into a barnstorming pie that’s as satisfying to make as it is to eat


Christmas is a time when leftovers come into their own. For the fortunate, majestic festive tables heave with roast turkey, crunchy roast potatoes, caramelised root vegetables, brussels sprouts and all our favourite trimmings. But although we might give it a good go, it’s unlikely we’ll devour everything in one sitting.

The big roast isn’t just for Christmas Day, though – it should allow for leftovers, making it easier to cater for a crowd on Boxing Day and beyond. Turn leftover turkey into pilaf, roast veg makes a brilliant frittata and uncooked sprouts are delicious shredded into a super-fresh slaw. If you want to keep the rich and decadent meals flowing, this leftover Christmas roast pie will hit the spot: from scraps to glory, it’s satisfying both to make and to eat – salty, savoury and decadent.

Leftover Christmas roast pie

This pie elevates the humblest Christmas scraps into the most glorious meal. If you don’t have enough turkey or ham, make up the weight with more roast vegetables (I particularly like it with roast parsnips and carrots, but anything will work). I’ve included a recipe for a wholemeal rough puff pastry that’s rich, buttery, flaky and short, but any pastry will work here, including ready-made. (Whenever I make pastry, I usually double the amount and freeze half for a later use, anyway.) And, if you happen to have 200ml thickened gravy left over, use that as the sauce instead of the roux and stock mixture.

Prep 15 min
Cook/chill 1 hr 30 min
Serves 4

For the filling
300g roast turkey or chicken, shredded
200g roast ham
, ripped into strips
150g leftover roast vegetables
, diced
60g butter
130g green leek tops
40g cheddar
4 sprigs parsley
, finely chopped, stalks and all
30ml double cream
1 tsp ready-mixed English mustard
40g wholemeal flour

150ml-220ml turkey (or chicken) stock, or water
50ml whole milk, for glazing

For the rough puff
65g wholemeal (or plain) flour
45g cold butter
, cut into 1cm cubes
35ml cold water

Mix the shredded roast turkey, ham strips and diced leftover roast vegetables in a large bowl (if you have less of one of the ingredients, replace it by weight with more of one of the others).

Melt half the butter in a medium pan, then soften the leek tops on a low heat for eight minutes. Tip this into the turkey mixture, and add the grated cheddar, finely chopped parsley, double cream and mustard.

In the same pan, make a roux (unless you have 200-220ml thick turkey gravy left over, in which case skip to the bit where you add the sauce to the filling mix). Melt the remaining 30g butter over a medium heat, then add the wholemeal flour and cook for a minute, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add the 150ml stock a little at a time, whisking constantly to prevent lumps, then cook, stirring all the time, until the sauce begins to thicken – if it seems too thick, incorporate more stock. Pour the sauce (or the leftover gravy) into the turkey bowl and mix to combine.

To make the pastry, weigh the flour into a bowl, add the diced cold butter and chop in with two butter knives. Measure out the water, stir into the mix, then bring everything together into a ball. Roll out into a large rectangle, then fold in from one short edge by a third; repeat from the other short edge. Roll out the sheet into a rectangle again, then repeat the fold-and-roll process twice more. Put the pastry on a large plate, cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes.

Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/390F/gas 6. Tip the filling mixture into a deep, 20cm pie dish (mine’s a basic rectangular one from Falcon; if you use a round tin, you may need to make as much as one and a half times the amount of pastry above). Roll the pastry into a 3-5mm-thick rectangle and lay it over the top of the filling. Press all around the edge with the back of a fork, to seal, then brush the top of the pastry with milk and cut two small holes in the top, so the steam can escape while it’s cooking.

Bake for 25-30 minutes, until the pastry is golden, then remove and leave to rest for 10 minutes. Serve hot – mash and greens would go down a storm alongside, as would a dollop of English mustard.

Fiona Beckett’s drinks match Given that we’re talking leftovers, maybe you ought to drink something you have open already with this, but otherwise any easy-going red like a côtes du rhône or Aldi’s immensely gluggable Specially Selected Costières de Nîmes 2020 (£5.99, 13.5%) would rub along just fine.

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