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Five family-friendly pie recipes from @annasfamilykitchen

With holidays almost upon us and the thought of endless meals looming, Anna, from @annasfamilykitchen, shares five of her delicious and easy to follow recipes, that will be sure to be a great hit!

Vegetarian Shepherd’s Pie

Whether you’re Vegan, Vegetarian or you’re just trying to reduce your meat consumption by having a couple of meat free days, try this rich and hearty Shepherd’s Pie. Containing all your five a day, 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 cheese to the mix (I used vegan) adds a lovely crunch.


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 ½ 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.

Steak & Ale Pie

This pub grub fave 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. I’ve nabbed that idea! 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.


1kg stewing steak cut into chunks
3 tbsp flour mixed with 1 tsp salt and ¼ 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 minutes. 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 minutes.

Chicken and Bacon Pie

I absolutely love this simple pie filling. It works well with mini fold over pies too. You can follow the recipe using leftover turkey and ham this Christmas too!, Here, 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 options below.


1 tbsp oil⠀
8 skinless boneless chicken thighs cut into chunks (or 600g cooked chicken)
200g bacon lardons
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


Add the oil, onions and garlic to a medium pan. Soften for 5 mins.

Season the chicken and add to the pan for 5-8 mins. Add the bacon lardons and colour. Add the mushrooms and thyme, add the flour and stir. Pour in the wine and let it bubble. Add the milk, season and simmer for 10 mins.

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 egg and criss cross the top with a knife. Pierce a hole in the middle.

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 all over and bake at 180 for 10 mins then spoon in the filling. Paint the edges of the top of the pastry with the egg. Lay over the remaining pastry and pinch the edges. Brush with egg. Make an air hole in the top and bake for 40 mins.

Serve with mash & green veg.

Haddock, Leek & Tender Stem Pie

As with most of my recipes, this pie can be adapted with what you have in fridge or fancy. Salmon (either fresh or smoked) could replace the haddock; you could use asparagus or spinach in place of the broccoli; or you could use shortcrust pastry. I just like puff. Enjoy!


320g ready rolled puff pastry sheet
240g un-dyed haddock
1 leek chopped
Bunch of fresh thyme, leaves picked, or use ½ tsp dried
200g tender stem tips
3 eggs whisked
300ml milk
100ml double cream
60g cheddar


Line a pie dish with the pastry and prick the bottom using a fork.

Soften the leek & thyme in a lug of oil. Add the fish and milk to a pan with a bay leaf. Bring to a simmer for 3 minutes. Lift out the fish and let the milk cool.

Whisk the eggs. Add the cream, milk and half the cheddar . Flake in the haddock. Season.

Cook the broccoli for just 1 minute and drain.

Spread the leeks on top of the pastry and pour over the fish/egg/cream filling.

Arrange the tender stem on top, sprinkle with the remaining cheese and put in the oven at 180 fan for 25 minutes.

Chilli & Sweet Potato Hash

Hearty Chilli Con Carne topped with sweet potato mash crisped up in the oven! When making chilli it’s always worth doing it in a large batch so you can have extra portions for the freezer. Serving the chilli as a hash makes a welcome change to spooning it on plain rice.

You can use this recipe chilli recipe or look up my Ultimate Chilli on my website which uses stewing steak and chorizo. Or you could use vegetarian Chilli. All bases covered!


800g beef mince⠀
2 red onions chopped⠀
3 garlic cloves crushed⠀
2 red peppers cubed⠀
2 cans kidney beans
2 tsp mild chilli powder⠀
1 tsp smoked paprika⠀
1 tsp ground coriander⠀
1 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
200ml red wine⠀
800g chopped tomatoes⠀
300ml good beef stock

1kg sweet potatoes
50g butter


Sauté the onions for 10 minutes. Add the mince and brown for 10 minutes. Add the garlic and spices followed by the balsamic and red wine. Let the wine reduce before adding the remaining ingredients.⠀

Cook for an hour on the hob or better still put it in a slow cooker or low oven (130 degrees) for as long as possible.

Peel and cube the sweet potatoes and boil for 20 minutes. Mash with the butter and black pepper.

Spoon the chilli into an ovenproof dish, top with the mashed potato and put in a hot oven or under a grill until the top is golden and crisp.

Follow @annasfamilykitchen for more tasty recipes!

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