Turkey and mousebrain pie

Peter Flynn

No, not real mice, and not real mouse brains! This was the kids’ fault: they thought peeled chestnuts looked like what they imagined mouses’ brains to look like. It's a wonderful way to finish the holiday turkey and ham (and chestnuts, and anything else left over — use whatever you want).

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Serves 4. Heat your (fan) oven to 175°C. Prep time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 40 minutes.


Ingredients

  • 250 g left-over turkey
  • 250 g left-over ham
  • 100 g tinned celery1
  • 100 g peeled chestnuts [I use the French ready-peeled vacuum-packed ones]
  • 50 g fresh or defrosted cranberries
  • 100 ml gravy
  • pinch of parsley
  • 350 g short-crust pastry
  • 2 tbsp milk (or cream, or beaten egg) [optional]

Quantities are not exact: use whatever you have, but the mouchestnuts are what makes this so good.


Method

  1. If you have enough pastry, line a large pie dish or casserole.

    Pies should have a bottom as well as a top, regardless of what well-intentioned but uninformed cookery writers may say.

  2. Chop the turkey and ham into smallish chunks, removing skin, bone, fat, and sinew.

  3. Cut the celery into 20mm chunks.

  4. Mix the turkey, ham, and celery with the chestnuts, cranberries, and gravy in a large pie dish or casserole, sprinkle with parsley;

    You could break up a few remaining stuffing balls 🔗 into the mix, if there were any left over.

  5. Cut the pastry to fit as a lid, and press down the edges. Any remaining pastry can be cut into shapes to decorate the top.

  6. If you have milk or a beaten egg, brush the top so it browns nicely when cooked.

  7. Bake for about 30–40 minutes or until the top turns golden.


This is a family essential with us: quite hard to find but easy to use, and the water goes into the gravy for flavour. If you can’t get it or don’t want it, feel free to use any of your other left-over vegetables.


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