Christmas guarantees a wide variety of leftovers that need eating up. If you can’t face another turkey curry, or bubble and squeak, then plan on putting together a pie this year.
The great thing about pies is that they can be altered to suit whatever leftovers you have, and they’re not tricky either.
First of all you need a filling. Here’s where you can use up those turkey leftovers, or ham, or beef, or chicken – whatever cooked meat you have around, chop it into chunks and put it in the bottom of a pie dish. Add in any cooked veg that’s sitting around and add a little bit of sauce in the form of leftover gravy or the dregs of the cream (or make yourself a little bit of white sauce if you don’t have anything suitable). If you’ve got smoked salmon and prawns leftover from starters and nibbles then think about making fish pie.
Now your pie needs a topping. If you’ve got mashed potatoes leftover then you’re sorted – just spread those out on top. If you’ve got roast or boiled potatoes then you’ll need to mash them up with a little bit of milk or butter first. If you’ve got a handful of crisps then crush them up and sprinkle them on the top – or use up that last bit of grated cheese.
Pop your pie into the oven (I generally use 200°C/400°C/Gas mark 6) until it’s heated through and the potato topping is starting to brown – about half an hour.
My recipe ideas for ‘Post Crimbo Pie’, to help use up those Christmas leftovers and reduce food waste, first appeared in the Winter Carbon Action Group newsletter, which can be downloded in PDF format.