Chicken & Mushroom Pie

I’m really rather fond of pies, especially when the weather is as wet and gloomy as it’s been today. There is something oh so comforting about pie, whether it’s steak, chicken or apple… you just can’t beat the deliciousness of buttery flaky pastry on a cold day.

Chicken Pie

Given that today has been rather horrid on the weather front, I thought I’d share one of these recipes with you to really get you in the autumnal spirit of things. I’m feeling rather autumnal myself, I’ve spent the entire day cleaning my home (yes it’s that bloody nesting instinct as baby still hasn’t arrived), I figured that there wasn’t anything else to do seeing as it was so wet outside.

I digress, here is my delicious home-made chicken and mushroom pie recipe made using left over roast chicken, so it makes a perfect Monday night treat that’s really cheap to make.

Chicken & Mushroom Pie
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: British
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Chicken & Mushroom Pie
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, roughly chopped
  • 3 sticks celery, roughly chopped
  • 2 carrots, roughly chopped
  • 300g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 tbsp freshly chopped thyme
  • 1 tbsp flour
  • 2 tbsp tomato purée
  • 500ml chicken stock
  • Left over roast chicken, pulled off the bone and shredded
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 400g shortcrust pastry (either home-made or store bought - I won't judge!)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large casserole dish and add the onion, cook until translucent. Add the other vegetables and thyme, stir well to coat the vegetables with the oil and cook for 10 minutes until they have softened.
  2. Add the flour and stir well to coat the vegetables, then immediately add the tomato purée and chicken stock. Season generously then add the shredded chicken. Turn the heat to medium and simmer for about an hour until the pie mixture has thickened.
  3. Once the pie mixture is cooked remove it from the heat and allow it to cool for about half an hour.
  4. If you are making pie with a base you'll need to blind bake the pastry crust first (see notes below). However, you may only wish to add the pastry on top, in which case follow the steps below.
  5. Fill your dish with the pie mixture and pop the sheet of rolled pastry on top allowing about 2cm of pastry to over-hang the dish. Use cutters to decorate the top.
  6. Brush with egg wash, poke a few small holes in to let the steam out and bake for 40 minutes.

Instructions for Blind Baking a Pastry Crust

If you wish to make a pie crust (which I think is best), roll out your pastry to the desired size, depending on the size of your dish. Use a small ball of pastry to push the corners into place so you don’t tear the pastry.

Ensure that you roll the pastry out so that you have about a 2cm overlap on the dish (sometimes the pastry shrinks in the oven). Place a sheet of baking paper over the pastry and fill the dish with ceramic baking beans. Pop into a pre-heated oven (180oC fan) for 15 minutes, then remove the baking beans and baking paper and bake for a further 5 minutes.

Once you have blind baked your pie crust allow it to cool slightly before adding the chicken mixture and complete the recipe from step five above.


My Top 3 Autumn Recipes

Steak & Ale Pie
Steak & Ale Pie
Tuscan Fish Stew
Tuscan Fish Stew
Pumpkin Spiced Latte
Pumpkin Spiced Latte







I’ve said it before, autumn is without doubt my favourite time of the year, the crisp golden leaves that litter the ground and all the promise of the Christmas festivities to come. There are many things that make this season so special, the first appearance of your winter woollies, misty mornings, duvet days and the heating going on for the first time. But, perhaps one of the best things about this time of year is the comfort food, it’s all about pies, pastries, casseroles and stews and I’ve been busy scanning the archives to bring you my favourite autumnal recipes.

Some dishes just seem to warm you from the inside out and the three recipes above will do just that. Each is special for it’s own merit, the steak and ale is one of my old favourites, a perfect combination of buttery pastry and rich gravy. Those of you who read my blog regularly (I’m hoping that’s a few of you) will know that the Tuscan Fish Stew is probably my best recipe to date and my boyfriend loves it, we make it all the time! And last but certainly not least is one of my newest recipes, but it gets a big thumbs up for seasonality and it was so delicious I couldn’t help but include it in my top three.


Steak & Ale Pie

Bored of the age old steak dinner for Valentine’s Day? Why not impress your valentine with this super tasty steak and ale pie? If you’re planning on spending a romantic evening in with a bottle of wine and a delicious homemade treat then give this delicious pie a whirl, I promise you’ll impress you’re other half. If you’d rather not spend the whole evening cooking then you can use a readymade pastry, but make it yourself and you’ll really notice the difference, and possibly earn a few extra brownie points. What could be better than a man making pie and getting covered in flour? I digress.
This recipe serves six, so there will be plenty of leftovers (which is fortunate, because once you’ve tried you’ll want more and more). Once made, you can freeze the pie in individual portions ready for lunches or a quick weeknight dinner. You can also freeze any leftover pastry for up to one month, just wrap it in cling film and pop it in the freezer for another time.
The best part about this pie is in the decoration, of course for a valentines pie I perhaps should have used a heart shaped cutter, but never mind, stars it is. You can get creative with your pastry cutting skills, maybe even spell out your partners name in pastry… too tacky? Okay, moving on.

* 2 tbsp olive oil
* 450g casserole steak
* 230g pack of smoked bacon, roughly chopped
* 4 carrots, roughly chopped
* 1 large onions, roughly chopped
* 2 tbsp plain flour
* 2 tsp sugar
* 300ml dark ale (a cheap own brand is fine)
* 2 tbsp Worcestershire Sauce
* 400ml beef stock
* 1 bouquet garni
* 300g mushrooms, halved
* 650g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
* 250g cold baking butter, diced
* 1 egg, beaten

Heat oven to 160C. In a large casserole dish, fry the steak and bacon in a little olive oil until browned all over, set aside. Add the chopped carrots and onions and more oil if necessary, cook on a low heat for 5 minutes. Add the mushrooms, and cook for a further 2-3 minutes, then add the sugar and flour, stir well.
Add the steak and bacon back to the pan and stir well. Pour over the ale, Worcestershire sauce and stock, season well and add the bouquet garni, simmer for a few minutes before putting a lid on and transferring to the oven. Cook for 2-3 hours.
Meanwhile, measure out your flour and dice the butter, crumble them together with your (clean) fingers using a rubbing motion between your thumb, forefinger and middle finger. Add a pinch of salt. Once the butter and flour are combined, slowly add ice water and knead to form the pastry (I found that about 180mls did the trick). Wrap the pastry in cling film and pop it in the fridge while your pie cooks.
Once the steak is cooked, remove from the oven and turn the oven temperature up to 200C. Transfer the steak mixture to a pie dish and leave to cool while you roll out your pastry.  Roll out the pastry to a size that will cover the pie (you’ll want to leave another inch around the side). Pop your pastry on to the pie and cut around the edge, tucking the pastry under to form a seal. Brush the top with the egg wash and cut out your decoration. Add this to the top and brush again with egg. Bake in the oven for 45 minutes.
Serve with steamed vegetables and mashed, jacket or roast potatoes.  

Apple & Blackberry Pie

There is something quite joyful about apple and blackberry pie at the best of times, but when feeding guests, one has a tendency to go overboard with the portion size – my inner greediness.  I’d say this recipe would serve eight hungry people or perhaps ten modest portions, so it’s certainly one for a large dinner party. In fact, it makes an ideal dessert for feeding a large number as you can prepare it a day ahead and pop it in the oven 40 minutes before serving. Paired with a generous portion of custard, or indeed ice cream, you have yourself a stress free impressive homely dessert.

The decadent aroma of apples and sweet pastry drifting though the house is just heavenly, you’ll hardly be able to wait until it’s cooked through. And you can get creative with the pie top, which is just good plain fun if you ask me. Having recently purchased some star shaped cookie cutters I was rather pleased with my little work of art.
As I needed such a large pie I decided to make it in a stoneware roasting tray, rather than a traditional pie dish, the dimensions of which are: 32 x 23cm. Of course, you can half the ingredient quantities below for an ordinary 23cm pie dish.
Firstly preheat the oven to 200⁰C.

For the pastry

NB: This is a sweet pastry for desserts
500g plain flour
350g unsalted butter (must be cold)
125ml cold water
3 tbsp caster sugar
1 tsp salt
1 egg
Start by combining the butter, flour, sugar and salt in a large bowl. Rub the mixture between your thumbs and forefingers to create a crumb like mixture. There should be no large lumps of butter; you are looking for a breadcrumb consistency.
In a separate bowl mix the egg together with 125ml cold water, add to the flour mixture and kneed until combined. Form the pastry into a ball and wrap in cling film. Store this in the fridge whilst you make the filling. The pastry is easier to work with when cold.

For the filling

200g caster sugar
300g blackberries
6 cooking apples
2 tbsp corn flour
1tsp ground cinnamon

To make the pie filling, add the sugar, cinnamon and corn flour to a large bowl. Peel, core and slice the cooking apples into large chunks, add these to the bowl along with the blackberries. Using your hands, carefully mix together ensuring that all of the fruit is coated with the sugar mixture. Set this aside while you roll out your pastry.

On a floured surface, roll out half of the pastry to slightly larger than your pie dish; you want the pastry to be about 3mm thick. Lay this into the pie dish ensuring the pastry comes all the way up the edges. Spoon the fruit mixture into the pastry lined dish.
Cover the top with the rolled out remaining pastry, tucking the edges under to meet the sides. Crimp the edge with a folk and decorate the top with any left of pastry.
Cut a few slits in the top to allow the steam out whilst cooking.
Place in the centre of your pre-heated oven for 25 minutes. Remove the pie after 25 minutes and cover with foil to prevent the pastry from burning. Place back into the oven for a further 25 minutes. 


Festive Jam Tarts

Tis the season to be jolly *
For those that are regular readers of Miss Friday’s Feast you’ll know sweets really aren’t my forte, or should I say my preference? I really don’t have much of a sweet tooth and can’t seem to get as excited about the prospect of baking cookies as I can about cooking a steak. Nevertheless, I realise that Christmas is the time for indulgence, so what better time to take the plunge with my very first sweet blog post?
Well, technically speaking it isn’t my first sweet blog post. A few weeks back Stephanie over at Kitchen Frolicasked me to participate in her festive cookie calendar, so I have been experimenting with all things cookie ever since. You can see my white chocolate and macadamia cookies that I made for Steph over at her blog.
So, having decided to set aside some time for festive baking, I enlisted in the help of my mother, who has never really been much of a cook (sorry mum), but a few glasses of wine and a very messy kitchen later we were feeling rather smug with our efforts.

These festive jam tarts are truly great, not only do they look festive, but they taste it too. The wonderful vanilla pastry against the sweet raspberry jam works beautifully. In an effort not too eat them all myself, I brought them to work this week and my colleagues seem to agree that they taste good, either that or they are good liars!
This would be a great recipe to do with the kids, let them have fun cutting out the stars, although the top outline stars can be a little fiddly, that part may just be a job for mum, or indeed dad. It is really important not to miss out the freezing step. Freezing the pastry for 10 minutes will ensure it is stiff enough for you to handle.
This recipe was inspired by Sainsbury’s, but I made a few adaptations to suit my own tastes, such as swapping strawberry jam for raspberry, and icing sugar for coconut. I also made a few look like proper jam tarts rather than stars. But, that’s the beauty of them, you can make them however you like. I think I’ll make some heart shaped ones for Valentine’s Day.
You could also substitute the jam for mince meat if you like, personally I don’t like it. Just saying!   

* Fa la la la la, la la la la *

Mum made the broken ones 😛

100g unsalted butter, softened
100g caster sugar
200g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1 egg yolk
1 tsp vanilla extract
60g raspberry jam
1 tbsp desiccated coconut, to dust
Preheat the oven to 180⁰C. In a bowl, beat together the butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in the egg yolk and vanilla extract. Stir in the flour and then, using your hands, lightly knead to form a ball.
On a lightly floured work surface, roll out the dough to a 5mm thickness. Using a 8cm star shaped cookie cutter, stamp out as many stars as you can, then, using the smaller star shaped cookie cutter, stamp the little stars from the middle of half of the bigger stars. Place the biscuits onto a lined or greased baking sheet. Place these in the freezer for 10 minutes.
Spread a thin layer of jam onto the whole larger stars, placing the stars with the cut-out middles on top. Bake for 10 minutes, until lightly golden. Allow to cool on a wire rack, then sprinkle with desiccated coconut to serve.
Tip – You will have pastry left from the smaller star cut outs, you can either bake these separately, or roll out the pastry again and make a few more. 


Homemade Sausage Rolls

I’m going to start today by doing something I’d hoped I would never have to, apologising for my lack of blog posts this month. 
I know what you’re thinking: bad blogger, right? The truth is work as been hectic; I work in a client services role, which means we are manic one week and dead the next. The run up to Christmas is always busy though, which is a little frustrating when you just want to wind down and blog about all the delicious things you’ve been making. Especially when there’s been an abundance of culinary treats coming out of my kitchen of late. I just haven’t had the time to share them all, so hopefully the Christmas break will give me that opportunity to catch up, and be that committed, frequent blogger I set out to be.
There is another reason I haven’t been able to give my posts and recipe write ups as much focus as I would have liked, an exciting one too. Miss Friday’s Feast is currently undergoing a well needed visual make over. And, I just can’t wait to reveal the new look; all in good time.
So, today I give you my sausage roll recipe, just in time for making a batch to stash in the freezer for Christmas. Perfect for those Christmas drinks parties, when hosting a full blown dinner party is just out of the question. After all, Christmas is such a busy time for everyone, especially if your juggling a busy job with present buying, wrapping, planning and cooking – it can be exhausting, who wants to add extra stress by hosting a dinner party? Not me, I’d rather flop on the sofa with a glass of mulled wine and a plate of delicious warm sausage rolls I had the insight to make a month ahead. Yes, a whole plate.  Sounds a little Bridget Jones doesn’t it? The funny thing is, I actually have those pajamas, and will most likely spend the best part of December wearing them.

This recipe really couldn’t be simpler, which is what makes it so great, it makes about 16 bite sized sausage rolls, or 4 four larger ones. Just double the ingredients for a larger stash. I buy the puffy pastry in a ready rolled sheet, because all you need to do is cut it length ways down the middle and you’re ready to get cracking. Make sure you take the pastry out of the fridge 30 minutes before you want to use it to allow it to soften slightly. Not too much though, you don’t want it gooey or stringy.

8 pork and herb sausages (or 500g of sausage meat)
Puff pastry sheet (375g)
1 egg yolk, whisked
½ white onion, finely chopped
2 coves garlic, minced
1 tbsp parsley, freshly chopped
1 tsp crushed chilli flakes
1 tsp crushed fennel seeds
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
If using individual sausages, remove the skin by piercing them with a sharp knife, place the sausage meat into a large bowl and season well.
Fry the onion and garlic in a little oil and add to the sausage meat whilst still warm, this helps to bind everything together. Add the parsley, chilli and fennel seeds and mix well. I find clean hands are best.
Roll out the pasty onto a lightly floured work surface and cut in half length ways. Place the mixture in the middle of each piece, ensuring you leave enough pastry each side to fold over and close. Once you have rolled up your sausage rolls, pinch the fold together using a folk and brush with the egg yolk.
Cut the sausage rolls to the desired size before baking (otherwise you’ll have pastry everywhere) and place on a lightly greased baking sheet. Place in the centre of a pre-heated oven (200⁰C) for 14 minutes.
Allow to cool on a wire rack, or gobble them down whilst warm, which I highly recommend.

Minced Beef Pie

Pastry is definitely my one weakness; I just adore the buttery, soft flakiness of it. Okay, so it’s probably not my only weakness, but you have to admit it’s pretty hard to beat.
I had planned to make a cottage pie last week, but the urge to have pastry seemed to have got the better of me, so here we are with a recipe for minced beef pie. This really takes me back to my childhood; I had a friend whose mum used to make these wonderful minced beef and onion pies, amongst other tasty things. This pie is so simple to make, yet so delicious and comforting.
There is a distinct joy that comes with watching your pie puff up while the pasty browns. Now, I know for some (the pie perfectionists out there) nothing less than a perfect looking pie will do. But, when the pie mix sprits out of my pie and drips down the side of the dish I think it looks even more appetising. What is it they say on the Lurpack advert…?
 ‘Be proud of your puffed up pie’.

400g lean beef mince
1 sheet of short crust pastry
2 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp dried mixed herbs
2 garlic cloves chopped
500ml beef stock
500ml passata
1 can chopped tomatoes
2 onions roughly chopped
3 large carrots roughly chopped
2 sticks of celery roughly chopped
1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
1 tsp Marmite
Handful of fresh parsley roughly chopped
2 egg yolks beaten
Handful frozen peas
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Heat the oil in a large pan over a medium heat, add the onion and cook for 5 minutes until softened. Add the garlic, carrots, celery and herbs, cook for a further 10 minutes.
At this point it is wise to remove your pastry from the fridge; it will be easier to work with if it’s not too cold. However do not allow the pastry to get warm; it will become gummy (useless).
Coat the beef pieces in flour, ensuring they are fully coated. Place in a casserole dish with the oil and fry over a medium heat for 10 minutes. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Once the vegetables have begun to soften, add the beef and fry until browned (at this point you can add a good glug of red wine if you like). Add the stock, passata and chopped tomatoes. Give it all a good stir before adding the Worcestershire sauce, Marmite, salt and pepper.
Transfer your mixture to a pie dish and cover with the sheet of pastry. By all means create a design for the top with your scraps of pastry. Separate 2 egg yolks and whisk in a small bowl, brush onto the pastry. Cook in the oven at 180⁰C for 35-40 minutes. Serve with peas and a sprinkling of freshly chopped parsley.
Serves:                                  4
Preparation Time:               15 minutes
Cooking Time:                     35 minutes