Turning Stew into Pie

Another good recipe for using up leftovers. This particular stew was fished out of the deep freezer the other night, because I forgot to get any meat out for dinner. Plus we need to start chipping away at the collection of leftovers that live in our freezer. Turning leftover stew, or curry, into pie is super easy especially if you have some pre-rolled puff pastry in the freezer. There’s been a bunch of pre-rolled puff pastry in stores at the moment which is great because I love it, and it’s a pain to make yourself.   

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Our stew was frozen into blocks so the first step for me was to defrost them. It probably would have been easier to do it in the microwave, but it worked well enough on the stove. I put about 600g of frozen stew in the pot with two cups of boiling hot chicken stock, and a half cup of mushroom stock (also fished out of the freezer). Cook the frozen stew on high until it defrosts. Preheat the oven to 200°C.

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The stew was quite bland so I stirred through some thyme, sage, rosemary, oregano, cayenne pepper, cumin, cinnamon, wholegrain mustard, garlic, and salt and pepper. If your stew was frozen it might need a bit of a flavour boost, so play around with some of your favourite spices to find a flavour that works. I ended up having time to simmer the stew for quite a while so I added a cup of liquid whey to the mixture. If you don’t have time leave out the whey, cut back on the amount of stock and cook on high stirring regularly to make sure nothing is sticking. Regardless of how long you cook the stew for you need everything to break down a bit and form a nice thick mixture without too many big chunks of veggies.

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Get some puff pastry out of the freezer and leave it on the bench to defrost. Grease a pie dish, with butter or oil then line it with defrosted puff pastry. Blind bake the pastry base in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. The pastry should be puffed up but not too golden when it’s done. Fill the pastry case with the stew mixture.

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Carefully place the other sheet of defrosted puff pastry on top of the pie and crimp down the edge with a fork. Make sure that the pie lid reaches all the way to the edge of the dish so that it completely covers the filling.

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Don’t worry if it’s not very neat, mine sure as hell wasn’t, and it still tasted delish! If you want the top of the pie to be nice and golden brush a whisked up egg over the top before you put it in the oven. Put the pie in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the pastry on top is evenly cooked and golden brown.

Ingredients (4 large serves)

  • 600g of leftover stew (frozen or thawed is fine)
  • 2 cups of chicken stock (reduce to 1 cup if your stew isn’t frozen)
  • 1/2 cup of mushroom stock (optional)
  • 1 cup of liquid whey (optional)
  • 1 egg (optional)

If your stew needs a bit of a flavour boost consider adding some of the following:

  • 1 heaped tsp of minced garlic
  • 1 heaped tsp of wholegrain mustard
  • 1 tsp of thyme
  • 1 tsp of rosemary
  • 1 tsp of cumin
  • 1/2 tsp of sage
  • 1/2 tsp of oregano
  • 1/4 tsp of cayenne pepper
  • a dash of cinnamon
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. I put about 600g of frozen stew in the pot with two cups of boiling hot chicken stock, and a half cup of mushroom stock (also fished out of the freezer). Cook the frozen stew on high until it defrosts.
  2. Preheat the oven to 200°C.
  3. If your stew was frozen it might need a bit of a flavour boost, so play around with some of your favourite spices to find a flavour that works.
  4. I ended up having time to simmer the stew for quite a while so I added a cup of liquid whey to the mixture. If you don’t have time leave out the whey, cut back on the amount of stock and cook on high stirring regularly to make sure nothing is sticking. Regardless of how long you cook the stew for you need everything to break down a bit and form a nice thick mixture without too many big chunks of veggies.
  5. Get some puff pastry out of the freezer and leave it on the bench to defrost.
  6. Grease a pie dish, with butter or oil then line it with defrosted puff pastry. Blind bake the pastry base in the oven for about 10-15 minutes. The pastry should be puffed up but not too golden when it’s done.
  7. Fill the pastry case with the stew mixture.
  8. Carefully place the other sheet of defrosted puff pastry on top of the pie and crimp down the edge with a fork. Make sure that the pie lid reaches all the way to the edge of the dish so that it completely covers the filling.
  9. If you want the top of the pie to be nice and golden brush a whisked up egg over the top before you put it in the oven.
  10. Put the pie in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes or until the pastry on top is evenly cooked and golden brown.

 

 

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