The Journal by TWC is exactly that, a Journal of a life, of sorts, a collection of articles written and curated by Thomas W Coombs esq. About topics that many of us love and enjoy. From fashion to cocktails, from travel to wine and some of the simple things in life in between, like literature, photography and film.

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Issue 27; The Glorious Consumption of Pie

written by @coombstw

I will never say I am a culinary genius, I have mostly a “chuck it in and see” approach to cooking, exact measures take a back seat with the use of hands and ‘yeah that’ll do’ running the show  and is why I have never been adept at baking. But I need to improve my cooking game. So in true manly form I start with the king of all Christmas leftovers uses, I made Pie.


Turkey and Ham to be exact, which come Boxing Day were in abundance, so I went to work.  I was not going to cheat and decided if I was to make pir, I would make 100% of the pie, including the pastry.  Everyone said “You can just buy it you know”, but what is the point, it is three ingredients we had in the house, so I went all Hipster food hero and went hands first.  Note to all Shortcrust pastry is bloody easy, never buy it, it is a waste of money, it took me less than twenty minutes and I had to make more when I realised my meagre ball of dough was not enough.

Once my most awesome balls of pastry were resting in the fridge, the next part was the sauce, no one wants a dry pie.  I used a mix of two recipes from BBC Good Food and in my unique fashion made the rest up. As this is the case rather than link this to a website, I have put the method and ingredients at the end of this article.

Now I found the cooking of pie a very manly endeavour even though historically it was the woman who cooked the food, but I also find that pie, like bread was fronted by the man, even though I’m sure he didn’t make any of it.  So now I am slightly obsessed with these pie making skills I seem to have, so next up I think will try some steak style meat pie and even a fruit pie. May try to make smaller pies (dishes required) so can then test before making a huge one.

If you do follow the below, you can use any already cooked meat, then I would like to know how you got on, contact me direct on Instagram.

If you are a foodie person then Watch this space for the Bread Diaries....

Recipe;

Standard Shortcrust pastry.
Approx, depends on size of pie dish etc, just make more.
450g plain flour
100g butter, diced
pinch salt
100ml Water

Rub it all together minus the water, then make a well, add water and carry on mixing with hands until you have a ball. Rest for 30 minutes or put in the fridge, will last a day

Sauce is....
75g butter
2 leeks cleaned, finely sliced
75g plain flour
splash fresh orange juice
200ml turkey or chicken stock
250ml single cream
3 tbsp wholegrain mustard
1 tbsp chopped tarragon
Small amount of Turkey and Ham

Heat the butter in a saucepan, add the leeks and cook very gently for 10-15 mins until soft but not coloured. Stir in the flour and cook to a sandy paste, then splash in the orange juice and bubble for a moment. Pour in the stock and bring to the boil, then add the cream and simmer until you have a thick sauce, stir often. Stir through the mustard, tarragon and chopped turkey and ham, turn off the heat and leave to cool. Set aside.

Then in the pastry layer turkey and ham at the bottom, then the sauce then another layer of meat, depending on how deep the pan is to how many layers. Then put the lid on and pinch down, make a few slits in the centre of the pit lid, wash with egg, cook for approx 55 minutes at 180 for fan oven.

Eat hot or leave to cool and eat cold.