5 of the best pie recipes to try this winter

This chicken and leek prassopitta, recipe below, is a seriously great family-style dish.
AARON MCLEAN

This chicken and leek prassopitta, recipe below, is a seriously great family-style dish.

In the same way that no road trip is complete, in my opinion, without a pie at some point during the journey, nor should winter be faced without the comfort of a pie. There is something about the buttery crust that makes everything seem right in the world.

Pies are perfect for using up leftovers – chilli beans, mince or a curry are all stellar when stuffed into an envelope of pastry.

The recipes below use different pastry types and where I have used bought pastry, I've chosen Paneton's excellent range, which are all made with butter (see paneton.co.nz for stockists). If you are using other brands of pastry, you may need to roll a couple of sheets out to get the desired size. If you want a recipe for a shortcrust pastry, use our favourite one  – it's a good one to make ahead and store in the fridge or in the freezer.

It's worth noting that I often let the pastry rest between rolling out and cutting, and again after I've lined the tins – it helps to prevent it from shrinking too much during cooking.

READ MORE:
Cuisine's bargain winter reds 
5 comforting potluck dishes
Recipe: How to make shortcrust pastry

Whether you're at the bach relaxing or watching the game, there's not much better than a cheeky pie.
AARON MCLEAN

Whether you're at the bach relaxing or watching the game, there's not much better than a cheeky pie.

 

CHICKEN & LEEK PRASSOPITTA

This recipe is based on a Greek leek and feta pie and uses one of the simplest pastries you can make from scratch – it can be mixed together in a bowl in a few minutes and rolls out easily.

You can make the pie the day ahead, keeping it refrigerated on the tray, covered, until ready to bake.

RED-BRAISED BEEF BRISKET PIE

Red braised brisket pie is a great take on the classic mince pie.
AARON MCLEAN

Red braised brisket pie is a great take on the classic mince pie.

Red-braised beef is one of my favourite winter stews to serve with rice, but here I've somewhat bastardised this Chinese dish to use those same delicious flavours in a pie.

Sometimes I increase the amount of chilli bean paste to make a spicier version. I like to serve it with either a sharp watercress salad or braised gai lan. If you are making individual pies, you will need extra short pastry for the bases.

LAMB, FENNEL & SPINACH PIE

Lamb, fennel and spinach are the perfect match.
AARON MCLEAN

Lamb, fennel and spinach are the perfect match.

This pie can be made as one large pie or, as in the photo at right, 12 small ones, and I've provided directions for both options. The filling can be made a day ahead, as can the bread dough if it's put in the fridge to rise slowly overnight.

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Once you have made the pie(s), it's best to cook within the hour as the dough will overproof while sitting.

POTATO & GOAT'S CHEESE GALETTE 

Not strictly speaking a pie, but a great recipe that can be thrown together quickly (as long as you have defrosted the pastry), and a real family favourite when served with a winter green salad or steamed green veges.

It's excellent the next day heated in a panini press, and you could also cut it into smaller pieces to serve with drinks.

The galette isn't really considered a classic, but it's versatile and quick.
AARON MCLEAN

The galette isn't really considered a classic, but it's versatile and quick.

TUNA & OLIVE EMPANADAS

​Based on an Argentinian classic, these empanadas are great hand-held food.

The empanadas need to be refrigerated for 30 minutes before baking, but trust us, they're totally worth the wait. 

These tuna & olive empanadas should be a go-to.
AARON MCLEAN

These tuna & olive empanadas should be a go-to.

 - Cuisine

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