This recipe has been adapted from the one in Jamie's Dinners. The addition of the meatballs adds a special touch to an old favourite. I made this as two individual pies. You could do this on a medium sized pie dish and serve up two portions, or just double the amount and cook in a large dish for four.
To be honest, I seldom make my own pastry. Unless I am making something special where the pastry is the highlight, there's just too much other food preparation and cooking to do for a meal. The ready-made pastry that you find at the chilled or frozen section in supermarkets do work well. Puff pastry in particular, I have never bothered making. It's all just too delicate and fussy. (And Jamie Oliver agrees!) I find that the ones that you have to roll out yourself seem to handle and taste slightly better than the ready-rolled ones. It's a little bit more work but still takes less time than making your own.
Ingredients (serves 2):
Knob of butter
200g chicken, cut into slices
1 medium leek, washed and sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 small carrot, diced
2 stalks of rosemary, chopped (or 1 tsp dried)
1-2 good quality sausages
1 tbsp plain flour
1 small glass of white wine (optional)
150ml of milk
Salt and pepper
1 pack shortcrust pastry
1 egg, beaten
1. Heat a large pan or casserole dish and add some olive oil and a knob of butter. Fry the garlic, chicken, leeks, carrots and rosemary for a few minutes on high heat.
2. Add the flour and white wine and stir until everything is coated. Pour in the milk, stir to mix evenly and turn the heat down to a simmer. Let the chicken and leek mixture continue cooking for about 10 minutes, until the liquid is reduced and the sauce has thickened (but still loose). Season with salt and pepper, spoon the mixture out onto one or two pie dishes and let it cool slightly. (At this stage, after the dish has cooled down, it can be kept in the fridge to continue cooking the next day.)
3. In the mean time, preheat the oven to 200 C/gas mark 6. Squeeze the sausage meat out of the casings and roll them into small meatballs. Heat some olive oil in a small pan and brown the meatballs until they are sealed all over. No need to cook them through at this stage. Sprinkle the meatballs over the chicken and leek mixture.
4. Dust a flat surface (either a suitable counter top or large chopping board) with flour and roll out the shortcrust pastry. Make either one or two pieces large enough to cover the top of your pie dish(es), about 0.5cm thick.
5. Brush the edges of the dish with beaten egg and drape the pastry over. Press down at the edges to seal and trim off any excess. Crimp the edges with a fork if you wish. Brush the top of the pastry with egg wash (so that it turns lovely and golden). Cut a steam vent in the centre of the pastry (just stab it once with a knife). Cook in the centre of the oven for 30 minutes.