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As easy as pie! Seven new delicious recipes

This week, Anna, from @annasfamilykitchen, shares seven of her amazing and easy to follow family-favourite pie recipes.  Guaranteed deliciousness and empty plates all round!

Shepherds Pie 

The recipe for this British family classic pie is fail proof. It’s worth cooking extra meat sauce and mash for individual kids meals. I store them in ramekins or freezable/oven proof containers so they can be transferred straight to the oven once defrosted.

INGREDIENTS for :- 6-8 portions

1.2kg lamb mince
3 onions chopped
4 garlic cloves crushed
2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
60g tomato puree
150ml white wine
500ml chicken stock
3 carrots grated
700g potatoes peeled & halved
50g butter
300-400ml milk


Brown the mince in a hot casserole with a lug of oil. Don’t be tempted to continually stir or the mince won’t catch & get the tasty crispy edges.
Add the onions & garlic, stir and colour for a few more minutes.
Add the wine. Let it bubble then add the Worcestershire Sauce & seasoning.
Add the tomato puree, then the stock & grated carrot. Simmer for an hour on top or put it in a slow oven for as long as poss.
Add the peeled potatoes to salted boiling water & simmer for 20 mins. Drain & mash or put through a ricer adding the butter & milk plus seasoning.
Spoon the mince into an ovenproof dish & spoon over the mash. Rough up with a fork. Put in a 200 degree oven for 30 mins or until the top is golden.

Chicken & Bacon Pie

If asked what my favourite pie was, it would be a toss-up between this and the Steak & Ale. To keep things simple, I top the pie filling with puff pastry but if you’re a proper pie disciple you may argue it should have a pastry bottom. Bottom or bottomless, you decide. I’ve provided recipes for both.

INGREDIENTS:- 4-6 portions

1 tbsp oil⠀
8 skinless boneless chicken thighs each cut into four pieces (or 600g cooked chicken)
200g bacon lardons or streaky bacon
1 onion chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed⠀
250g chestnut mushrooms⠀
1 tsp dried thyme⠀
2 tbsp plain flour⠀
100ml white wine⠀
100ml milk
500g pack fresh puff pastry or 2 x 320g sheets shortcrust
1 egg beaten


Colour the onions and garlic for 5 minutes in a hot pan with a lug of olive oil.

Season the chicken and add to the pan for 5-8 minutes. Add the bacon lardons to the pan and colour for 5 minutes.

Add the mushrooms & thyme, add the flour & stir. Pour in the wine & let it bubble. Add the milk, season & simmer for 10 minutes.

For a top only pie, tip the filling into a pie dish & let it cool.

Brush the egg around the edge of the pie dish. Roll out the pastry (or use ready rolled) and lay it on top of the mixture. Press around the sides of the dish. Brush with the beaten egg and criss cross the top with a knife. Pierce the middle to let steam out.

Put in an oven at 200 degrees for 30 mins or until the pastry is golden brown.
If making a pie with a bottom, line a tin with half the shortcrust pastry so the pastry hangs over the top. Prick the pastry with a fork all over & bake at 180 for 10 mins then spoon in the filling.

Paint the edges of the top of the pastry with the beaten egg. Lay over the remaining pastry & pinch the edges to seal. Brush with egg.

Make an air hole in the top & bake for 40 mins.

Serve with mash and green veg.

Chicken & Bacon Pot Pie Turnovers

These are made using the same chicken pie filling spooned into pastry circles which are then folded in half and baked for just 15-20 minutes. You could add a leek or chopped mushrooms to the mix. Serve as a snack, a simple lunch or with a salad with mash & veg for dinner.

Ingredients – 10-12 portions

1 tbsp oil⠀
500g skinless boneless chicken breasts cut into 2cm pieces
4 rashers bacon chopped
1 small onion chopped
2 garlic cloves crushed⠀
1 tsp dried thyme⠀
1 1/2 tbsp plain flour⠀
50ml white wine⠀
50ml milk
100ml chicken stock
500g pack fresh puff pastry
1 egg beaten


Colour the onions, bacon and garlic for 5 minutes in a hot pan with a lug of olive oil.

Add the chicken to the pan & colour for 6 minutes.

Stir in the thyme and then the flour. Pour in the wine and let it bubble. Add the milk and stock, season and simmer for 10 minutes.

Let the mixture cool. This can be done up to 2 days ahead.

Roll out the pastry on a floured surface or use ready rolled sheets!

Using a 20cm bowl or plate as a guide score around the edge to make disks.

Spoon 2 tbsp of the pie mixture in the middle. Fold the pastry in half and brush the top with the egg. Press the edges with a fork to seal.

Place each “pie” on a baking tray lined with parchment paper and bake at 200, 180 fan for 15-20mins. ⠀

Steak & Ale Pie

This pub grub fav is easy to make at home. Ideally leave the pie filling in the oven for a couple of hours or you could make & refrigerate ahead. I once saw Jamie Oliver topping his beef pie filling with grated cheese so I’ve borrowed that idea here! Yes it’s extra calories but let’s face it, if you’re reaching for a steak pie topped with puff pastry, a little bit of cheddar shouldn’t worry you! It makes the filling creamy in texture & acts as extra seasoning.

If you have a mushroom hater like I do in the family, you can leave them out or as I do with lasagne, I pick the ‘shrooms out of a “Finn Corner” before putting the pastry on top.

INGREDIENTS:- 4-6 portions

1kg stewing steak cut into chunks
3 tbsp flour mixed with 1 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp black pepper
1 large or 2 small onions chopped
4 garlic cloves crushed
2 carrots chopped
2 bay leaves
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
A few fresh thyme sprigs or 1 tsp dried
2 tbsp tomato puree
40g dried mushrooms soaked in 100ml water (or add some sliced fresh mushrooms)
500ml dark ale
200ml beef stock
320g puff pastry sheet
4 tbsp grated cheddar
1 beaten egg


Combine the steak, flour, salt & pepper in a bowl.

Add 2 tbsp oil to a casserole dish & colour the beef. I did this in three batches. Set aside.

Add 1tbsp more oil to the pan. Add the onions, carrots, bay & garlic. Soften for 5 mins.

Add the balsamic & tomato puree then return the beef to the pan. Pour in the ale scraping the sticky bits off the bottom of the pan. Add the soaked mushrooms & their stock, the beef stock & thyme. Bring to a simmer.

Cover & put in the oven at 150 fan for 2 hours. Transfer the pie filling to a pie dish & leave to cool for at least 30 mins.

Sprinkle over the cheddar.

Unroll your pastry sheet. Cut four 1cm strips & press against each side of your dish. Lay the remaining sheet over the top & seal the sides. Score the pastry & make 2 steam holes.

Brush with the beaten egg & put in the oven at 180 fan for 30 mins

Steak Slice 

In case you have any leftover Steak & Ale filling (it’s always worth making extra as it’ll keep in the freezer) you can make a batch of these.


Follow the recipe for the Steak & Ale Pie filling.

Cut out rectangles (12cm x 10cm) from shop bought pastry

Lightly mash or shred the pieces of beef with a fork.

Add a 2 tbsp filling to the middle of the pastry pieces.

Sprinkle with grated cheese.

Top with another pastry rectangle. Press the edges with a fork, score and brush with eaten egg.

Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden.

Fish Pie 

Another old school classic which I think divides the nation! I love it as it takes me back to my childhood. I’m not going to lie, making a fish pie is a bit of a faff! Lord knows I have tried but there are few short cuts that can be taken when making it but honestly, I think it’s worth the effort – just make a larger batch so you can have some individual freezer portions.

INGREDIENTS:- 4 portions

500g mixed fish – I used salmon, un-dyed smoked haddock & cod
100g king prawns
1 onion halved
2 bay leaves
1 pint milk
3 tbsp flour
50g butter
1 tsp Dijon mustard
50g frozen peas
100g spinach
For the topping:-
1kg potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
50g butter
400ml milk
50g grated cheddar


Add the onion and bay leaves to the milk and simmer for 5 minutes. Lift out the onion and add the fish. Poach the fish in the milk for 5 minutes.

Strain off the milk reserving it for the white sauce.

To make the white sauce add the flour to a pan with the butter and whisk to make a roux. Whisk in the milk until you have a smooth sauce. Stir in the Dijon.

For the mash, boil the potatoes until soft then mash wish the butter and milk. Stir in the cheese so that it melts. Season and set aside.

Add the fish, the raw prawns, peas and spinach to the white sauce and spoon into a pie dish.

Top the fish with the mash and bake in an oven at 200 degrees, 180 fan for 30 minutes.

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie 

Containing all your five a day, here’s my meat free Shepherd’s Pie. There’s so much going on that even the carnivores won’t miss the meat. Instead of traditional mash I’ve used cubed potatoes tossed in olive oil and adding some grated cheese to the mix adds a lovely crunch.

INGREDIENTS:- 4 portions

1 large onion chopped
2 carrots peeled and chopped
3 garlic cloves crushed
200g mushrooms quartered
bunch fresh thyme
150g red lentils
400g chopped tomatoes
100g frozen peas
100g fresh spinach
500ml vegetable stock
500g potatoes peeled and cut into 2cm cubes
50g grated cheese – vegan, pecorino or parmesan
Fresh thyme or 1/2 tsp dried


Add the potatoes to some salted boiling water and simmer for 5 minutes before draining. Toss in the olive oil, seasoning, thyme and cheese. Set aside.

Soften the onions in some oil then add the carrots and garlic. Colour for 5 minutes then add the mushrooms and thyme.

Give everything a stir then add the lentils, chopped tomatoes & stock. Season well then simmer for 25 minutes then add the peas and spinach. Transfer to an ovenproof dish.

Top with the potatoes. Put in a 200 degree oven for 20-30 minutes until the potatoes are coloured and crisp.

Follow @annasfamilykitchen for more amazing recipes

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