Christmas Dinner in a Pie!

Christmas dinner in a Pie (5)

A couple of years ago, on New Year’s Day, we headed for a stroll to the welcoming arms of the National Trust Garden at Rowallane.

Rowallane Dec 2017 (1)

It was there, after still-warm scones and a hearty walk in glorious sunshine, that we met my pal Caroline (with her superbly-coiffed and mild-mannered Schnauzer Miley), and over a second cup of coffee (but no second scone, you’ll be pleased to hear) Caroline mentioned that she had Paul Hollywood’s Turkey and Ham pie all ready to go at home.

This got me thinking, and I checked out his recipe when I got home – naturally I didn’t have half the ingredients required, nor the dry sherry (it’s not called Mother’s Ruin for nothing, you know) but in my usual fashion, I went about following the recipe in my own way – I found sprouts, thyme, fresh peas, ready-made puff pastry, and cream languishing in the fridge, along with the very last of the turkey and ham, and I thought – why not?

A Christmas dinner in a pie –  here’s my version – and I’ve made it in the week after Christmas ever since. One can only eat so much cold Turkey, right?


  • a deep frying pan
  • a pie dish
  • A pie funnel (optional)

INGREDIENTS: This is what I put into the recipe whose pictures you see here:

  • 2 onions, roughly chopped
  • 30g butter
  • 12 cooked or uncooked Brussel sprouts, outer leaves removed and each cut into 2 or 4 segments


  • handful of fresh (or frozen) peas
  • teaspoon of thyme
  • 50mls of Port
  • zest and juice of 1 orange
  • slightly heaped dessert spoon of plain flour
  • 1 level teaspoon of mustard powder
  • 500mls of hot chicken stock
  • 200g/7oz cooked Turkey breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
  • 275g/10 oz Christmas ham, cut into bite-sized pieces.
  • 150mls cream (I had whipping cream, so I used that)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 dessert spoon of brandy
  • Ready-rolled Puff pastry
  • egg wash (one egg with a dash of milk, beaten together)


  • Melt the butter in the pan
  • add the onion, fresh peas,(if using frozen, just add them at the last minute), thyme and sprouts, cover and cook gently for 10 minutes until the onions are softened.
  • Add the zest and juice of the orange and the Port. Allow it to bubble up and reduce until there’s about tablespoonful of buttery juice left in the bottom of the pan
  • Add the flour and mustard powder, stir in well, and allow to cook for a minute or so.


  • Add the stock and combine to make a sauce.
  • Add the cold turkey and ham and stir in.
  • Taste and season as required
  • Add the cream and combine gently


  • Add the brandy.
  • Remove from the heat and allow to cool for about 20-30 minute
  • Heat the oven to 170 Fan
  • If you have a pie funnel, pop it into the middle of the dish
  • Transfer the filling into your chosen dish, and dampen the edges of the dish with cold water
  • Gently unroll the pastry and place it over the filling.
  • Pat down firmly at the edges, cut off any surplus pastry and entertain yourself by cutting out leaves, flowers or whatever takes your fancy, and use the egg wash as a glue to stick these onto the top of the pastry lid.
  • Stab the pastry a couple of times to allow steam to escape.
  • If you’re using the pie funnel, clear the opening of pastry
  • Liberally paint the pastry with the remaining egg wash
Christmas dinner in a Pie (1)

Spot the Sprouts!


  • Put the pie dish onto a baking tin, and put into a hot oven (170 Fan) for 25-35 minutes until the top is golden and crispy, and the filling is bubbling.
  • Serve with creamy mashed potatoes, and something non-Christmassy, like tender stem broccoli.


  • Naturally, if you’re a bit more organised than me, you can follow Paul’s recipe to the letter – including making your own rough-puff pastry – it’s over on the BBC Good Food website.
  • Leave out the Port and Brandy if you feel like it
  • Do add the orange though – it makes a lovely difference.
  • This makes a really decent sized pie, feeding at least 6 hungry people – way too much for our empty nest *sniff*, so I’ve frozen some to cheer us during the dark days of January..
  • My 2019 version of this recipe included some leftover roasted Parsnips as well as Sprouts and Peas – combined with the frozen peas. that’s 4 of your 5-a-day!!

I started writing down recipes in an old copybook when I was about 16. With 6 children at home, my Mother was always glad of a hand in the kitchen, and really allowed us to experiment - as long as we washed up afterwards, and left the kitchen immaculate! Having a tidy kitchen has followed me through my life, as has the habit of writing down my favourite recipes; except that these days I write them for my website, and add photographs when I can. The website really started when it occurred to me that my daughter might like to have these recipes when I've forgotten them. In my early days of cooking for family and friends, I used to phone my Mum all the time to ask her for the recipe for some of our favourite family dinners. She rarely had a recipe to hand - I think, like me, she made a lot of it up as she went along.. So welcome to Eating for Ireland - these are the recipes that my friends and family having been eating these past 40 years.. yes, I truly am ancient! They are tried and tested, and have worked for me for all that time - I have updated them as new ingredients became available - I really hope you'll find something that you can make into a family favourite of your own. You don't have to tell anyone where you found these great new dishes that you're serving up - it can be our little secret, but I'd really love it if you could give me a sneaky 'follow' on Facebook and Instagram.. So off you go - have a good rummage around, you're bound to find something new! My sincere thanks to all of you who have found a recipe that you liked and dropped me a line to tell me - I really do love to hear from you! Happy Cooking! Becks xx

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