Bacon & Leek Pie with Homemade Puff Pastry

This recipe will show you how to make a beautiful, creamy bacon & leek pie mix and how to make the homemade puff pastry pie case we’ll be putting it in. Best. Pastry. Ever.

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Bacon & Leek Pie with Homemade Puff Pastry

Introduction

A bacon & leek pie with homemade puff pastry might not sound like the most exciting thing we’ve ever made, but I want to assure you, I am happier and prouder of this dish than of any I have made in quite some time.

So where do we begin?

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Pies are something of a national treasure. While they don’t necessarily originate in England, we’ve certainly adopted the humble pie as something of a national treasure. While it is not actually our national dish, to suggest that pies are not in some way synonymous with British cuisine would be dismissive at best.

Certainly, in the North of England in particular, pies are very much a part of our national heritage, sold in many guises, most famous amongst them Pie, Mash & Liquour, a simple, yet perfect combination of pie, mashed potato and a green sauce.

Where I live, in the South of England, pies are more of a pub dish. You’ll find any manner of them on the menu, from chicken & mushroom to steak & kidney.

The latter, of course, being one of the many dishes to give the UK its reputation for grotesque and intimidating food. An utter misnomer based more on name than experience.

Nevertheless, those dishes do exist and they are a darn site more tasty than those who are unfamiliar might conclude. So much so, in fact, that the keenest debates on the topic of pie surround not the inclusion or exclusion of items such as offal, but of potato vs pastry, shortcrust vs puff and pastry base vs the always-out-of-fashion pie lid.

About the dish

Hidden away behind classics like the aforementioned chicken and mushroom or the always popular steak and ale are any number of unsung heroes often equally deserving of praise.

This recipe is for a bacon and leek pie, effectively a variation of the more common ham and leek, a delicious combination often served with big chunks of potato. Though we won’t be including those today.

Instead we will be packing the creamy filling with so much bacon that you will forget you had ever heard of … something and … potato, was it?

Please excuse the audio. Focus on the crunch rather than the robotic news!

To achieve that, we will be making a simple puff pastry, which works absolute wonders in this recipe and benefits tremendously from cooking through while tightly bound in its mould. The result is an absolutely remarkably crisp and flaky pastry that both perfectly holds its form and shatters into beautiful shards as you bite into it.

Just watch the above video to see what I mean!

After a quick blind bake, we will be filling that pastry with a simple mix of bacon, leek, cream, herbs and a mirepoix of base vegetables.

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It is uncomplicated. It is simple. But it is also proof that when you pour enough love and care into any dish, the result can be something magical.

For many years I worked around super refined food and it took me a long time to learn the value of a good and simple meal. I think the power of that revelation is why I enjoy making food like this quite so much.

And it’s also why I like to plate it in quite so deceptively simple a manner.

A few final things to remember

  • Always rest your pastry. The thing with using homemade puff pastry rather than something store bought is that when you first make and knead it, you get the gluten all excited and active, which means that when you try to roll it out, it will resist, springing back into a tighter, thicker form. Resting it stops that. You’ll feel the difference if and when you try to roll it out and in both instances.
  • On the note of store bought pastries. Use them. Homemade puff pastry does come with a certain deliciousness that store bought does not. Especially the way it’s utilised in this instance. But there’s no harm in using the shop bought stuff in a pinch. It may not have the same buttery-ness and crunch, but it tastes just fine and still wraps everything together.
  • You could use shortcrust instead, whether store bought or homemade. All that really matters is picking the one you fancy. Both can be absolutely delicious and neither are in any way superior. If you’d like to use shortcrust instead, check out my shortcrust pastry recipe right here!
  • I don’t necessarily expect you to use as much parsley as I have – I’m a big fan of herby flavours and I felt the dish benefit from the freshness.

Similar Recipes & Useful Sides

Easy Shortcrust Pastry Recipe – Just another link to the above noted shortcrust pastry recipe. I do have a slight preference for puff, but let’s be honest, who doesn’t love pastry, regardless of which type?

Homemade Puff Pastry Sausage Roll Recipe – By my count, there are three real snack-time pastry classics. We’ve done pies, we’ll do pasties soon and then there’s the ever-humble sausage roll, beloved by all but the unpleasable.

Homemade Cottage Pie Recipe – For a totally different kind of pie, check out this tasty cottage pie recipe, with minced lamb, creamy mash and all sorts of flavour.

Croque Monsieur – I’m all out of pie recipes, but for more bacon-y, carbohydrate-y goodness, this croque monsieur recipe is here to fill your stomach and clog your arteries. It’s too good.



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Bacon & Leek Pie with Homemade Puff Pastry

This recipe will show you how to make a beautiful, creamy bacon & leek pie mix and how to make the homemade puff pastry pie case we'll be putting it in. Best. Pastry. Ever.
Prep Time 1 hr 30 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Course Dinner, Lunch, main, Main Course
Cuisine English
Servings 2

Equipment

  • 2x 8 – 10 cm Ring Moulds (optional – but if you don't have one you'll need something of a similar size in which to bake your pastry)

Ingredients
  

Pastry

  • 300 g Plain Flour
  • 150 g Butter
  • 200 ml Water roughly
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 1 Egg
  • Dry Beans, Pearl Barley or Rice

Filling

  • 1/2 cup Cream
  • 2 Leeks
  • 1 Carrot
  • 1 Stick Celery
  • 1 Onion
  • 10 rashers Bacon
  • 1 Bay Leaf
  • 1 sml Thyme Bunch sage or rosemary would also work
  • 3 cloves Garlic
  • Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • Butter
  • Parsley

Instructions
 

Pastry

  • In a large bowl, combine the flour and salt with just enough water to bring it together into a single piece, even if it is a little rough around the edges. You don't want it too wet. . You may not need to use the full amount of water. Once it comes together in one piece, move it to a flat surface and knead the dough for 5 minutes or so, or until the dough is firm and smooth.
  • Wrap the dough in clingfilm and let it rest in the fridge for thirty minutes. Take it from the fridge and roll it out nice and thin on a lightly floured surface. You want it less than 5mm thick and in as square or at least rectangular a shape as you're able.
  • Thinly slice the butter and layer it over the top of one half of the dough, then fold the dough over and dust the top, then roll it out lenthwise. Fold it over and repeat the process 5 or 6 times, or more if you're able, but be careful not to damage the dough. The butter will eventually make it very difficult to work with, so keep dusting it with flour if needs be.
  • Fold the dough up so that you can wrap it in clingfilm to roll out one final time when you're ready to use it. Place it in the fridge, again for at least half an hour or for as long as it takes to make the filling.

Filling

  • Finely dice the onion, carrot, celery, garlic and leeks and set them aside. You want the onion, carrot and celery together and the leeks and garlic separate.
  • Chop the bacon into squares and add it to a hot pan on medium heat. You shouldn't need any oil, as long as you haven't discarded the bacon fat. Fry until cooked right through, then set the bacon aside, leaving behind any leftover fat and whatever is stuck to the bottom of the pan.
  • Add some butter and scrape the bottom of the pan, then add the onion, carrot and celery and the thyme and bay leaf. Stir everything together, cooking for 5 – 10 minutes on a low-medium temperature with some salt.
  • Add the leeks and garlic and stir everything together, then continue to cook for another 5 minutes or so.
  • Add the cream and again stir everything together, then simply leave over the heat for just a few minutes, seasoning with more salt with pepper and removing the thyme and bay leaf. If it's still a little dry, just add a splash of water.
  • Stir in some chopped parsley and remove from the heat.

Assemble & Cook

  • Pre-heat an oven to 180c.
  • Lightly dust a work surface and roll out the pastry to about 3-4mm thick, then use the ring mould to cut four circles from the dough. Set them aside somewhere on the surface, covered with a damp, but not wet, cloth.
  • Measure 2 long strips of dough. Enough to line the ring mould and then just enough to overlap and stick. Wrap any spare dough in clingfilm and store it in the fridge.
  • On a tray lined with greaseproof paper, place two of the circles of pastry and dampen the edges with water. Grease the inside of the ring moulds and place them around the circles of pastry, then line the sides with the strips you cut earlier, joining them to the wet base and brushing the seam with water to seal it. They will try very hard to collapse, so quickly pour in your dry beans, barley or rice and gently pat it down to support the sides. If you're using rice in particular, try to line the pastry with greaseproof paper.
  • Cut a single, small hole in the bottom and place the pie cases into the oven for about 10 minutes, until the pastry no longer has that raw, doughy feel, but without having picked up any colour.
  • Remove from the oven and pour out the dried contents, then scrape out any leftovers.
  • Remove the moulds and spoon in filling to the top, then brush the top edge with water and lay the final circles of pastry over to form a base.
  • Turn the pies over, still on the tray lined with greaseproof paper, then brush the outside with egg wash and give the hold in the (now) top another quick poke.
  • Place them back in the oven and increase the temperature to about 200c. Cook until suitably coloured or for roughly 20 – 30 minutes, then serve.
Keyword bacon, bacon pie, ham, ham pie, homemade puff pastry recipe, leek, leek and bacon, leek and bacon pie, leek and ham, leek and ham pie, pie, puff pastry, puff pastry recipe

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