I was having a conversation on Facebook this morning about things we used to eat on holidays in the caravan. Those holidays were taken off and on throughout the year for about 20 years and the foods we ate, especially in the early days, are now a thing of legend. The first caravan we used didn’t have a fridge so tinned things, long life things and dehydrated things featured heavily. Instant mash, dehydrated peas, dehydrated orange juice and Vesta meals were mentioned but then I remembered Fray Bentos tinned pies. Anyone who knows how my mind works is probably way ahead of me here but I decided I needed to make a pie like that. I know you can still buy tinned pies but where’s the fun in that??!?
This is possibly the easiest pie you will ever make. I’ve made it in a frying pan because I hate washing up but of course you can tip the filling into a pie dish if you prefer. Also if you don’t want to use cream (because?) then you can use an undiluted tin of Campbell’s condensed soup or a tub of fresh four cheese pasta sauce. The quantities are deliberately vague, it will work perfectly well if you use one leek instead of two or a bit more or a bit less cheese. Or indeed no cheese at all if you don’t like it. Equally you can add mushrooms or asparagus or anything you fancy really.
Frying Pan Pie
2 leeks, cleaned, trimmed and finely sliced
125ml white wine
1/2 chicken stock cube
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 hot rotisserie chicken, meat removed and torn into chunks
1 pack of ham – the one I used had 4 large slices – chopped
1 piece of Stilton – usually about 100g
1 small carton of double cream
1 pack of ready-rolled puff pastry
pre-heat oven to 200ºc
Start by frying the leeks in a little oil until soft in a large frying pan then add the wine, crumble in the stock cube, add the dried thyme and bring up to the boil. Bubble away until most of the liquid has reduced and is looking a bit syrupy. Turn off the heat under the pan.
Stir in the cream, crumble in the cheese and allow to melt for a minute or two, then stir in the chicken and ham.
Unroll the pastry and drape it over the frying pan. Trim to fit with a sharp knife. Depending on the size of your pan there might be a small gap top and bottom but you can patch any gaps with the trimmings if you like. Brush the pastry with a little milk and then place the pan in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes until the pastry is risen and golden and the filling is bubbling.