Fidget pie

Mark Sargeants version of the Midlands famous Huntingdon fidget is great for weekend eating, as everyone can help themselves
By Mark Sargeant
Fidget pie
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 6-8
  • Cook Time: 3 hours 10 minutes
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: medium

Ingredients

  • 300 g smoked ham hock
  • 3 onions, coarsely chopped
  • 2 sticks celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 bramley apples, cored and coarsely chopped
  • handfuls flat-leaf parsley, chopped
  • 50 g butter
  • 2 tbsp plain flour
  • 150 ml medium cider
  • 300 g all-butter puff pastry
  • 1 egg yolk, lightly beaten, plus extra for brushing the rim
  • buttered savoy cabbage, to serve

Method

1. Put the ham hock into a large saucepan, add 1 chopped onion, the celery, carrot and bay leaf. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 1½ - 2 hours until the meat flakes away from the bone.

2. Remove the hock from the cooking stock, allow to cool slightly, then flake into small pieces. Strain the stock into a clean bowl and reserve, discarding the vegetables.

3. Preheat the oven to 190C/170C fan/gas 5.

4. Combine the apples in a large bowl with the flaked ham hock, the remaining 2 chopped onions and the parsley. Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper and transfer the mixture to a 20cm pie dish.

5. Melt the butter in a medium heavy-based saucepan, add the flour and cook until golden brown. Slowly stir in the cider and 150ml of the reserved ham stock. Simmer for 10 minutes to cook the flour out and get a smooth sauce.

6. Pour the sauce over the filling and leave to cool.

7. Roll out the pastry thinly and cut a round to fit the top of the pie dish. From the remaining pastry, cut enough narrow strips to fit around the rim of the dish.

8. Brush the rim of the dish with beaten egg yolk and press the pastry strips lightly around the rim. Brush the pastry strips with a little more egg yolk, then put the pastry lid on top and press to seal. Crimp the edges. Make a diagonal cross in the centre then fold the pastry back to reveal the filling. Brush the top with the remaining egg yolk.

9. Bake the pie for 45-55 minutes until the pastry is golden and the filling is cooked.

10. Serve with buttered savoy cabbage.

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