Mrs Tweedy's Turkey Pie

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I'm not usually a fan of condensed soup as an ingredient, but I ended up with this filling when cooking in a holiday cottage last year and the saffron redeems things. Tarragon goes very well with poultry and is also worth trying.

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Description

Serves 4

  • 2lb (900g) cold cooked turkey
  • 15fl oz (450ml) milk
  • 15 threads of saffron
  • 2oz (55g) butter
  • 1lb (450g) leeks, fresh or frozen
  • 1oz (25g) butter
  • 1 clove of garlic, crushed
  • 2oz (55g) flour
  • A little turkey stock or jelly
  • 1 295g tin of Campbell's chicken and
  • white wine condensed soup
  • Salt and white pepper
  • 5fl oz (150ml) double cream
  • 3 tablespoon chopped fresh tarragon or parsley
  • 1lb (450g) puff pastry
  • 1 egg
  • Pinch of salt

Put the milk in a pan, or Pyrex jug, with the saffron and place in the simmering oven to warm. If you're using fresh leeks, wash them well and chop thinly. Melt the butter, add the leeks and cook on the simmering plate for 5-7 minutes, stirring until softened. Remove the leeks using a slotted spoon to an ovenproof bowl and transfer to finish cooking in the simmering oven.

Add the further ounce of butter to that left in the pan and stir in the garlic for a minute. Add the flour and cook for a 3-5 minutes, stirring all the time. Gradually add the warmed milk, whisking after each addition. Now add the turkey stock or jelly and soup. Taste and adjust the seasoning.

Finally add the cream and herbs and a little more milk, if necessary, to achieve a medium-thick coating sauce. Stir in the meat, cut into bite-sized chunks, and the softened leeks. Turn into a large pie dish, or use the half size AGA roasting tin.

Roll out the pastry and cut strips to attach, using water, to the edge of the dish. Place a pie funnel in the centre, and brush the strips with water. Cover the dish with the remaining pastry, crimp the edges and cut shapes from the trimmings. Whisk the egg in a cup with a good pinch of salt and brush the pastry - this gives a good golden finish. Affix the decorative shapes and use the rest of the egg to give a second coating.

Bake on the grid shelf on the floor of the roasting oven for 25-40 minutes until golden. It'll then happily keep hot in the simmering oven for up to an hour. Serve with creamy mashed potatoes and a simple vegetable such as cabbage or curly kale.

Recipe from Richard Maggs the AGA Cookery Doctor

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