Simple Recipes to Reduce Food Waste and Use Up Those Pesky Leftovers – Part 2: The Pie Edition

Simple Recipes to Reduce Food Waste and Use Up Those Pesky Leftovers - Part 2: The Pie Edition

Only one three-letter word causes more salivation and anticipation than pie, but that doesn’t involve food… usually. Sweet or savoury, the flakey goodness of a freshly baked pie is without equal. So, as a treat, I’m giving you four mouth-watering recipes that aren’t just good for the environment, but good for your pocket as well. 

Food waste is a growing problem facing the entire world. We need to take personal responsibility for the food we waste, rather than fretting over which governmental legislation would be best suited to eliminating the appalling amount of produce wasted every year. Each person can do their part by reducing the amount of food we throw in the bin each week. 

Earlier this week, I published a short list of recipes designed for the average home cook with the most basic set of skills and equipment. Simple recipes to use up those inevitable leftovers lurking in the back of your fridge every week. Today, I have four more recipes, all encased in glorious, homemade pastry.

P.S. No-one will judge you if you opt for the store-bought option. 

 

Cheese Pie

pie

 

Ingredients

  • For the pastry:
  • 500g flour
  • 250g butter 
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 100ml water
  • Chicken or fish.
  • Any vegetables taking up space.
  • Cheese
  • Milk or cream
  • Alcohol (white wine or beer {lighter the better})

Method

  1. For the pastry, sieve the flour and salt together. Dice the butter into very small cubes and rub into the flour until the mix starts to resemble breadcrumbs.
  2. Make a well in the centre, add the water and mix together until a smooth dough is formed. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate.
  3. Dice your meat and veg into bite-size pieces.
  4. Heat oil in a pot. If you’re using chicken, cook on a high heat until the meat is brown on both sides. 
  5. Remove the meat and set aside, making sure to keep the juice in the pot. 
  6. If you have onion, celery or leek, add them first. Cook on a low heat for 5 minutes.
  7. Add any hard, root veg you’re using, eg. carrots or squash. Cook on a low heat for 10 minutes.
  8. Add all remaining vegetables and cook for a further 10 minutes on a low heat.
  9. Return your cooked chicken to the pot. If you’re using fish or shellfish, add it now.
  10. Add one or two cups of milk or cream and one cup of alcohol. Cook on a low heat for 5 minutes on a low heat.
  11. Add in the cheese and stir the mix until the cheese is fully melted. 
  12. Season with salt and pepper. Check for taste. Set aside.
  13. Lightly butter your pie tray/baking tray. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry. Roll the pastry into the tray, packing it tightly (make sure to keep enough for the top of the pie).
  14. Prick the base of the pastry and bake for 2 to 3 minutes on the highest heat (This will prevent your pie having a soggy bottom).
  15. Remove the pastry from the oven. Add the filling, spreading evenly. Cover your pie with the remaining pastry and pierce a hole in the middle to allow steam to escape.
  16. Brush the top with a beaten egg or milk and bake at Gas 4 / 180° C / 350° F for approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
  17. Allow the pie to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.

 

Meat Pie

 

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Ingredients

  • For the pastry:
  • 500g flour
  • 250g butter 
  • ½ tsp salt
  • 100ml water
  • Whatever dark meat you have will do, whether it’s beef, lamb, pork or mince.
  • Any vegetables you need to use will work perfectly well in this stew.
  • Tomato Purée, stock cube, bay leaf  (if you have any)
  •  Alcohol (red wine or beer {darker the better})

Method

  1. For the pastry, sieve the flour and salt together. Dice the butter into very small cubes and rub into the flour until the mix starts to resemble breadcrumbs.
  2. Make a well in the centre, add the water and mix together until a smooth dough is formed. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate.
  3. Dice your meat and veg into bite-size pieces.
  4. Heat oil in a pot. On a high heat, brown the meat on both sides, it doesn’t need to be cooked fully through.
  5. Remove the meat and set aside, making sure to keep the juice in the pot. 
  6. If you have onion, celery or leek, add them first. Cook on a low heat for 5 minutes.
  7. Add crushed garlic, tomato purée and bay leaf (if you have any).
  8. Add any hard, root veg you’re using, eg. carrots, turnips, parsnips. Cook on a low heat for 10 minutes.
  9. Add all remaining vegetables and cook for a further 10 minutes on a low heat (if you have a stock cube, now is the time to add one or two).
  10. Return your cooked meat to the pot. Add two to three cups of alcohol, depending on how much meat and veg you’ve used and cook on a low heat for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  11. Season with salt and pepper. Check for taste. Set aside.
  12. Lightly butter your pie tray/baking tray. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry. Roll the pastry into the tray, packing it tightly (make sure to keep enough for the top of the pie).
  13. Prick the base of the pastry and bake for 2 to 3 minutes on the highest heat (This will prevent your pie having a soggy bottom).
  14. Remove the pastry from the oven. Add the filling, spreading evenly. Cover your pie with the remaining pastry and pierce a hole in the middle to allow steam to escape.
  15. Brush the top with a beaten egg or milk and bake at Gas 4 / 180° C / 350° F for approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
  16. Allow the pie to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.

 

Quiche

 

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Ingredients

  • For the pastry:
  • 200g flour
  • 150g butter 
  • Pinch salt
  • 125ml water
  • Any vegetables you want to rescue from the bin.
  • 3 eggs
  • ½ cup milk
  • Cheese

Method

  1. For the pastry, sieve the flour and salt; dice the butter and rub into the flour.
  2. Make a well in the centre, pour in the water and knead for 5 minutes until a smooth dough is formed. 
  3. On a lightly floured surface, roll the dough into a rectangle. Double-fold the dough, wrap in cling-film and refrigerate for an hour. 
  4. After an hour has passed, repeat step 3 and refrigerate for 30 minutes. 
  5. Dice all vegetables and cook until soft. Set aside.
  6. Lightly butter your pie tray/baking tray. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry. Roll the pastry into the tray, packing it tightly and refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  7. Remove from the fridge, cover with baking paper and fill with baking beans, uncooked rice or a smaller baking tray. Blind bake the pastry on the highest heat for 3 to 5 minutes. Remove from the oven and press down gently if the pie has risen. 
  8. Beat together eggs, salt, pepper and paprika or cayenne. 
  9. Combine the eggs and vegetables and pour into the pie case. 
  10. Bake at Gas Mark 3 / 160° C / 320° F for 10 minutes.
  11. Add cheese to the top of the quiche and return to the over for a further 10 minutes. 

 

Fruit Pie

20201110 143649

Fruit makes up a large proportion of the fresh food we waste each week. A pie is one of the best ways to keep those fruits out of the bin. Don’t worry about a bruise or a blemish, this pie recipe will rescue the saddest looking fruit.

Ingredients

  • For the pastry:
  • 50g butter
  • 125g sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 200g flour
  • Pinch of salt 
  • Any fruit you have lying around.
  • Sugar
  • Vanilla or cinnamon 
  • Wine, whiskey or brandy

Method

  1. Cream together the butter and sugar until smooth. Add the beaten egg and mix into the butter.
  2. Sieve in the flour and salt and mix together for approximately 5 minutes until a smooth dough is formed. Wrap in cling film and refrigerate. 
  3. Weigh all the fruit you’re going to use. Whatever the total weight is, use half that amount of sugar (so if the fruit weighs 200g, use 100g of sugar).
  4. On a low heat, add all the fruit, sugar and vanilla or cinnamon to a pot and cook for 10 minutes. 
  5. Add a splash of booze and cook for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Set aside.
  6. Lightly butter your pie tray/baking tray. On a lightly floured surface, roll out the pastry. Roll the pastry into the tray, packing it tightly (make sure to keep enough for the top of the pie).
  7. Prick the base of the pastry and bake for 2 to 3 minutes on the highest heat (This will prevent your pie having a soggy bottom).
  8. Remove the pastry from the oven. Add the filling, spreading evenly. Cover your pie with the remaining pastry and pierce a hole in the middle to allow steam to escape.
  9. Brush the top with a beaten egg or milk and bake at Gas 4 / 180° C / 350° F for approximately 20 to 25 minutes.
  10. Allow the pie to rest for at least 5 minutes before slicing.

 

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About the author

Mark Comerford

Mark is a chef and blogger putting a new spin on food journalism. Follow his blog - No Eggs, No Milk, No Problem

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