Monday, 30 November -0001


To celebrate Pie Week we have some fabulous recipes form the HIGGIDY COOKBOOK to try at home

Beef Bourguignon Pie (pictured above)

Serves 6 – 8

  • 1 x 3-litre lidded
  • ovenproof casserole pan; 1 x 2-litre
  • ovenproof pie dish


  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 550g lean beef, e.g. chuck, blade or topside, cut into 3cm chunks 200g smoked bacon lardons 300g shallots, halved
  • 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped
  • 500g chestnut mushrooms, halved
  • 3–4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves stripped and roughly chopped 2 heaped tbsp plain flour, plus a little for dusting
  • 1 tbsp Bovril
  • 250ml red wine
  • 450ml good-quality hot beef stock
  • 700g all-butter puff pastry
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • Polenta, for sprinkling (optional)
  • Freshly ground black pepper

This is one of our favourite pies, with its meltingly soft pieces of beef, salty bacon lardons and rich red wine gravy. You can forget the pastry lining if you wish and just go for the crispy rough-puff lid, but
we prefer it like this. It is worth making the stew
a day or two ahead, as it becomes even more tasty.

1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4. Heat 2 tablespoons of the oil in the casserole pan over a high
heat. Add half the beef and cook until browned. Transfer to a large bowl, then repeat with the rest of the beef.

2 Add another tablespoon of oil to the empty pan, then add the bacon and cook over a high heat until just golden.
Transfer to the bowl with the beef. You may have some lovely burnt bits left on the bottom of the pan – don't throw these away as they add flavour. Splash in some water, scrape them up with a spatula or wooden spoon and add them to the beef.

3 Heat the remaining oil in the pan, add the shallots, garlic and mushrooms, and cook for 3–4 minutes over a medium heat to get a little colour. Reduce the heat and return the meat to the pan. Add the thyme and flour and stir in well. Add the Bovril, wine and stock, stir well and bring to a very gentle simmer.

4 Cover tightly with the lid and place in the centre of the oven to cook for 2. hours or until the meat is just tender. You want this to cook slowly, with very little visible 'action', just a murmur of bubbles on the surface. If the level of the liquid looks a little low, add some water and give it a good stir. Check on it every 40 minutes or so. To see if the meat is tender, squidge a piece between your fingers or two spoons – it should give really easily. Season with pepper (no salt) and leave to cool.

5 Turn up the oven to 220°C/fan 200°C/gas mark 7 and place a baking sheet on the middle shelf to preheat. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out two-thirds of the pastry to about 3mm thick and use it to line your pie dish, letting the excess pastry drape over the sides. Pile in the filling. Roll out the remaining pastry to about 5mm thick, to the shape of the pie, allowing enough excess to reach just over the edges. Place on the pie and trim away any excess.

6 Press the pastry edges together with your fingers to seal, or use the back of a fork. Brush with beaten egg. Make two deep incisions on opposite sides of the pie – these will act as vents for steam to escape during baking.

7 Scrunch up your pastry trimmings and roll out to about 2mm thick, then cut out some pastry leaves and use them to decorate the top of the pie. Brush with more beaten egg. If you don't have time for this, you can sprinkle the top of the pie with polenta, which gives a really pretty texture.

8 Place the pie in the oven on the preheated baking sheet. Cook for 10 minutes, then lower the heat to 200°C/fan 180°C/ gas mark 6 for another 30 minutes or until the top is puffy and golden.

Chicken and chorizo with spiced paprika crumble.

This is such a super-speedy recipe. Chorizo complements the chicken with its strong, smoky flavour and adds some fantastic colour. We've topped it with a spiced crumble that soaks up some of the delicious juices and makes a fine alternative to a puff pastry lid.


Serves 4–6

  • 1 x 2-litre
  • ovenproof pie dish
For the filling:
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 100g chorizo cooking sausage, sliced into 5mm rounds
  • 2 red onions, roughly chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 250g floury potatoes, peeled and diced
  • 2 tbsp plain flour 450ml hot chicken stock
  • 150ml single cream
  • 1 cooked chicken (approx. 1kg) from a deli counter, skin removed and flesh torn into large pieces
  • Grated zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • 75g young spinach leaves, roughly chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the crumble:
  • 75g plain flour
  • 100g dried breadcrumbs
  • 40g Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 75g butter, chilled and diced
1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas mark 6.

2 Heat the olive oil in a large, deep-sided, heavy-based pan with a lid. Add the chorizo, onions and garlic and cook over a high heat for 4–5 minutes or until the onions begin to caramelise and the chorizo starts to release its oil.

3 Add the diced potatoes and cook for 2 minutes. Add the flour and stir to combine, then pour in the chicken stock and give the mixture a good stir. Reduce the heat to low and simmer, covered with the lid, for 20 minutes. You may need to stir the sauce after 10 minutes to stop the mixture catching on the bottom of the pan.

4 Remove from the heat and stir in the cream. Pour into a large bowl and add the chicken pieces. Mix to combine then stir in the lemon zest, lemon juice and raw chopped spinach. Season with salt and pepper and set aside.

5 Now prepare the crumble. Place all the ingredients in a large bowl. Using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture resembles breadcrumbs. (Or you can do this more quickly in a food processor.)

6 Spoon the chicken filling into your pie dish and sprinkle over the crumble. Bake in the oven for 30 minutes and
serve piping hot!

Chicken Pot Pie

A pot pie is a baked savoury pie completely encased in buttery flaky pastry. This one has become a firm favourite at Higgidy and features regularly on the menu for our summer festival season. We can't reveal the original Higgidy recipe because it's a closely guarded secret, but this is a jolly good version – perfect for sharing with your family at lunchtime.


Serves 6 – 8

  • 1 x 2-litre ovenproof pie dish; heart-shaped pastry cutter


  • 45g butter
  • 35ml olive oil
  • 4 large leeks, sliced into fat rounds
  • 2 large shallots, finely diced (or an onion will do)
  • 500g free-range chicken meat (a mix of breast and thigh), chopped into rough chunks
  • 300g good-quality cooked ham, roughly chopped
  • 3 sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves stripped and finely chopped
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme, leaves stripped and finely chopped
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 300ml hot good-quality chicken stock
  • 200ml single cream
  • 150g mature Cheddar cheese, grated
  • 1 rounded tbsp Dijon mustard
  • A little plain flour, for dusting
  • 800g all-butter puff pastry
  • 1 medium egg, beaten
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan 180°C/gas mark 6.

2 Heat 35g of the butter with the olive oil in a large, deep, heavy-based pan over a medium heat, add the leeks and shallots, stir well and cover. Lower the heat and cook for 7–8 minutes or until the vegetables are soft.

3 Add the chicken and increase the heat. Stir frequently for about 6 minutes or until the chicken is just cooked through. Remove from the heat and add the ham and herbs. Give it all a good stir, then add the flour and stir to coat.

4 Add the stock, stir well and return the pan to the heat. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook for 2–3 minutes, to thicken. Remove from the heat, add the cream, cheese and mustard and stir well. Taste your filling and season with a little salt and black pepper if needed. Leave to cool.

5 Using the remaining butter, lightly grease your ovenproof dish. On a lightly floured work surface, roll out two-thirds of the pastry (about 500g) to about 3mm thick and use it to line the dish, letting the pastry drape over the sides.  Pile in the cooled filling.

6 Dust the work surface with more flour, then roll out the remaining pastry to about 1cm thick and cover the whole pie with it, allowing the pastry to come just over the edges. Trim away any excess and press the edges together with your fingers to seal, or use the back of a fork. Generously glaze the top with beaten egg.

7 Scrunch up the pastry trimmings and roll them out to about 3mm thick. Cut out some heart shapes and decorate the top of the pie with them, glazing with more beaten egg.

8 Bake the pie on a baking sheet in the oven for 20 minutes, then lower the heat to 180°C/fan 160°C/gas mark 4 and bake for another 20 minutes or until the top is puffy and golden. Serve immediately with a big bowl of garden peas topped with fresh mint and a knob of butter.

The Higgidy Cookbook by Camilla Stephens is published by Quercus at £16.99

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