This is a pretty simple dish I made earlier this week, using leftover baked ham and the extra puff pastry dough I bought Sunday for the steak and ale pies. Actually, it's pretty close to the Chicken Pot Pie I have written about elsewhere on this site. It has a few departures, though, and is a really nice dish for a cool fall evening. We are now getting into my favourite time of the year (food-wise) when all the best produce is in season and it is no longer too hot to turn on the oven!
So here is another recipe to add to the growing list of Meat Pies. (Goodness, you'd think I was married to an Englishman or something...)
Hot Ham Pie
For this pie, I picked out of my vegetable bin everything I could find that would go well with ham. Some potatoes would have been nice, too, but I didn't have any. If you don't have leftover baked ham to hand, you could use lunch meat instead!
1 medium onion
1 clove garlic
1 small zucchini (courgette)
2 Tbs capers
2 Tbs grain mustard
2 Tbs crème fraîche or cream
2 Tbs dry sherry
1 tsp dry thyme (fresh would have been better)
1/2 tsp dry sage
butter (a couple of Tbs)
1 chunk of ham nearly the size of my fist (75-100 grams?)
a handful of freshly grated Parmesan
Chop the onion and garlic and set them to soften over a medium flame with the butter. (Use a frying pan with high sides.) Add the dried spices and stir until the onions are soft and yellow. Peel and cut the carrots in pennies and add to the pan. Clean and slice the mushrooms and add them. Chop the ham in small chunks and add it too. Rinse the capers and add them. Lastly, chop the zucchini in small chunks and add to the mix.
Stir together the mustard, crème fraîche and sherry and add them to the pan. Stir well and cook for ten minutes or so, to start the carrots softening and reduce the sauce a bit. (In the meantime, you can remove the puff pastry from the fridge and preheat the oven to 200C/375F.) Unroll the pastry and use a knife to cut straight through the middle of it. Pile some of the ham and vegetables on half of one of the halves. Be generous, these can take a fair amount of filling! Pull the other half of the pie over the filling and gently squeeze together the edges of the pie. Repeat this process with the second half. Place in the hot oven.
When the pies are starting to brown and look about five minutes from being done, sprinkle the Parmesan on top of each. In all, it will take about 35 minutes to bake the pies to perfection - crispy brown and cheesy on the outside and bubbling on the inside.
Be careful eating these darlings as they retain heat extremely well!