05 January 2009

Turkey Pie with Vegetables

I meant to blog this last year, when I made it (funny saying that, last year, as if I weren't talking about something that happened a week and a half ago), but we had guests and things to do and it just didn't happen. It's also a little boring, but boring is okay when it tastes so good.

We had a pretty traditional Christmas dinner - turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, cooked carrots, some salads. Actually, it was pretty much just last year's dinner but with carrots instead of asparagus/red pepper and different dessert. (My grandma brought pumpkin pie. Yum.) I did take a picture, but to be honest, I can't see the sense in posting it.

In any case, we made a smaller turkey this year and to get a jump on using up the leftovers, I made turkey pies on Boxing Day with half of the leftover turkey, leftover gravy, leftover mashed potatoes, and a bunch of cooked vegetables.

I didn't have a recipe and only really measured the meat and the vegetables, but for two pies, I used 4 cups of vegetables (carrots, celery, and onion), which I sautéed until soft and then positively doused them with dried parsley, sage, rosemary and thyme. I didn't use enough in the end, but you need far more than tastes good on just the vegetables, because then you need to add enough leftover gravy to turn it all into a kind of thick paste. I use about 1 1/2 cups of leftover gravy, which had solidified into a solid mass, so I thinned it with about half a cup of water. Unless you like a runny pie, it should be thick enough that you can spread the mixture, but not thin enough to really pour it. (If you tipped the pan upside down, it should plop out, rather than pour out.) Next, I stirred in about 4 cups of chopped leftover turkey.

I split the mixture between two pie shells (mine were made by Pillsbury, available in the dairy case) and then topped them with enough mashed potatoes to make a thin crust over all. I can't even begin to guess how much potatoes it took. Right near the end of the cooking time, I brushed a little melted butter over the potatoes and crust in hopes of browning it up a bit. I don't know if it was the butter or just the heat that browned it, but there it is.

I can't remember how long I baked it, or at what temperature, but if you looked up any pot pie recipe I imagine it'd be a usable number - it's already cooked so you only need to heat through and brown the crust/potatoes. I think I did mine about 45 minutes to an hour at 350F, with a few minutes at the end under the broiler to brown it up a little.

It was delicious, even though I didn't put enough herbs in to get a really, really great taste. We had a fair bit of leftovers, so I had some again the next day and I think it was even better once it'd sat. Meat pies make delicious winter dinners.

The vegetables, by the way, were because I was in desperate need of something that didn't contain starch. Don't get me wrong, the pie was great, with it's mashed potatoes and flaky crust, but after piroshky, mashed potatoes, stuffing, and pie the day before, I needed to eat a meal with a fair bit of green in it - cold sugar snap peas and a cucumber/tomato salad. Refreshing and delicious, even if they don't really match with a meat pie.

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