In the mood for a savoury pie

Australian meat pies are what empanadas are to the Spanish people, pizza rustica to Italians, tourtes a la viande to the French or tourtiere to Canadians: a shortcrust or puff pastry shell filled with a mixture of meats ( with aromatics and other ingredients) covered with a lid of the same pastry. I have made my own version at home and on the boat, using whatever was on hand in the fridge and the pantry and refer to it as left over pie, eaten mostly on a friday night when cooking from scratch is the last thing on my mind but I still won’t give in to order takeaways.

We had one of these nights, when returning from our overseas trip last month. After spending close to 20 hours in airports, planes and buses, I just didn’t have the energy to get in the car and face the supermarket crowd. So, I turned to the freezer for inspiration and found some puff pastry, with left over turkey from Christmas (including a decent amount of stuffing!). Thanks to Craig, Terry’s son, the veggie garden not only survived but thrived during our absence and we were blessed with fresh lettuce and tomatoes. All that was needed was a little patience while the turkey meat and stuffing thawed out. In the meantime, a quick search thru the fridge and pantry resulted in some walnuts, a jar of honey roasted garlic in sherry vinaigrette and a log of goat cheese ( I have an entire shelf dedicated to cheese for the exact purpose of dinner in a hurry!)

And what a meal, even more delicious considering the short notice: the pie filling was moist and sweet from the stuffing ( which has enough of its own seasoning so that no extra ingredients were needed, remember to ask Maliney for the recipe) and the salad was nice and refreshing, a welcome change to the airline food…

So, how about you? Do you have your own pie version, left over or otherwise?

Turkey (leftover) pie


I know I said this pie does not need any extra ingredients for flavour, but I like to add sautéed onion as it provides additional moisture to the filling.

Serves 4 as a light dinner

4 cups cooked turkey meat ( a mixture of white and dark meat)
4 cups cooked stuffing ( mine was a mix of sourdough crumbs, sausage and prunes…)
1 onion sliced
2 tbsp olive oil
1 sheet of puff pastry (for the lid), frozen
1 sheet of shortcrust pastry ( for the base), frozen
1 egg, slightly beaten

  1. If using frozen, defrost the meat and stuffing in the fridge overnight. Thaw out the pastry sheets, 15 minutes at room temperature.
  2. In a frypan, sauté the onion in olive oil until soft and golden. Take off the heat and cool for a while. In a large bowl, mix with the thawed turkey meat and stuffing. Set aside.
  3. Roll out the shortcrust pastry and line a buttered pie dish with it. Spread the turkey mix on top.
  4. Roll out the puff pastry and place it over the pie dish, sealing the edges by moistening and pinching them together. Make a few small holes in the middle with a knife to let the steam escape. Brush the top of the pie with the beaten egg and bake in a preheated oven at 220C for 45 minutes.
  5. Serve with a salad and a glass of light red wine. Enjoy!

My garden salad


This is hardly a recipe, more a list of ingredients found in the fridge, garden and pantry and thrown together to make a nice salad. By using the garlic in sherry vinaigrette, you do away with having to make a dressing, a bonus in my book!

Serves 4 as a side

A mix of soft lettuces ( red oak, baby cos, green leaf,…), washed and dried
1 or 2 tomatoes, quartered
1 cups walnuts, toasted
120g goat cheese log
1 cup honey roasted garlic in sherry vinaigrette (including the dressing!)

  1. Mix all ingredients in a large bowl
  2. Serve with a wedge of turkey pie ( or a steak! )

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