To celebrate Pie Week (March 7-13), the chef patron of Edinburgh restaurant, The Little Chartroom, shares a classic recipe.
Ingredients for the pastry
500g plain flour
250g cold salted butter, diced
50g egg yolk
1 Combine the flour and butter in a stand mixer.
2 Add in the milk, water and egg, mix until it just starts to come together and then finish by hand until everything is fully incorporated.
3 Divide into 3 pieces – 1 x 200g, 1x 100g & 1x 350g. Wrap and rest in the fridge for 2 hours.
2 smoked ham hocks
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 5cm pieces
1 onion, peeled and quartered
1 leek (green part), coarsely diced
1 leek (white part)
1 bunch thyme
2 tbsps whole grain mustard
30g plain flour
400ml ham hock stock
40g parsley, picked and diced
40g egg yolk
1 Cover the ham hocks with cold water, and bring to the boil. Skim off any impurities.
2 Add in the carrots, onion, green leek, thyme and peppercorns, gently simmer until the meat is tender.
3 Remove the ham from the pot and pass the stock through a sieve into another container.
4 Once the ham hocks have cooled down, pick the meat into small pieces.
5 Quarter the white parts of the leeks lengthways, slice the quarters into 1cm pieces.
6 Sweat the leeks in a little butter, until softened. Allow to cool, then mix them into the ham, add the mustard and mix. Add the butter, then the flour and cook gently stirring regularly for approx. 10 mins.
7 Gradually start adding the stock, whisking continuously. Finish by adding in the cream.
8 Pour some of this ham hock sauce into the meat mix and stir until fully incorporated. Keep adding the sauce until all of the meat is coated, but it’s not too liquid. Add in the chopped parsley.
9 Using a 6“pie or cake tin, line it with two layers of cling film – allow for extra to go over the sides.
10 Pour the mix into the lined tin, and flatten, then fold over the cling film. Place in the fridge to firm up for approx. 3-4 hours.
11 Roll out your pastry to 3mm thickness. Cut your base from the 200g piece of pastry – cut a 8”diameter circle and place on top of a piece of greaseproof paper, then place on to a tray.
12 Cut your top from the 350g piece of pastry – a 11 ½ “ diameter circle. Use the last piece for any decoration.
13 Brush the base pastry with the egg yolk, unwrap the ham mix and place on top in the centre.
14 Place the larger piece of pastry over the top and mould the pastry around it. Using the 8”ring, cut the pastry edge to neaten - you still want an excess of approx. 2cm that you can crimp.
15 Brush the pie with egg wash and crimp the edges.
16 In the centre of the pie, pierce a hole (so you can place a tinfoil chimney in it). Decorate with extra pastry cut into shapes, and brush with egg wash.
17 Bake for 40 mins at 180 degrees C.