Helen’s Home Cooking

When we make pie we tend to use shop bought Puff pastry for easiness, shortcrust pastry is an easy to make alternative and is good for a change. If you do use shop bought shortcrust pastry for savoury pies always make sure it is not the sweet version.


Shortcrust Pastry Seasonal Chicken Pie

Shortcrust Chicken pie

          For the filling

  • 350g of chicken
  • 1 onion diced
  • 2-3 carrots cubed
  • an equal amount of turnip cubed
  • 1 leek sliced
  • chicken oxo stock cube
  • 350mls water (approx)
  • 2 tsps of Bisto powder
  • 1 tsp of cornflour
  • salt and pepper to taste.
  • A little oil for frying

        For the Pastry

  • 225g of plain flour
  • 65g lard cubed
  • 65g butter cubed
  • 1 egg whisked
  • 1/4 tsp of salt
  1. In a large pot heat a little oil.
  2. Add the onion and fry for 2-3 minutes.
  3. Add the chicken and further fry until golden brown.
  4. Add the carrot, turnip and half the leek.
  5. Use enough water to just cover the filling and crumble in your Oxo cube.
  6. Bring to the boil and cook for 35 minutes.
  7. Add the remaining leek and remove from the heat.
  8. Mix the Bisto and cornflour in a little water and slowly add to your stew, stirring constantly, bring back to the bubble. Your gravy should be quite thick as more liquid shall come out of the additional leek in the baking process. Add more Bisto and cornflour if needed.
  9. Salt and pepper to taste.
  10. Set aside to cool.


  1. Into a large bowl sift your flour and salt.
  2. Add your lard and butter and combine using your fingertips until a mixture like breadcrumbs is formed.
  3. Create a well in the middle and add you egg.
  4. Using your fingertips, bring in the crumble mix until all is combined.
  5. If your mix is very dry add a little water, 1dsp at a time. You don’t want wet pastry.
  6. Knead a couple of times.
  7. Cut your pastry in two, one side larger than the other. Approx 2/3-1/3 ratio.
  8. Put in the fridge to cool for 30 mins.
  9. Remove the big piece of pastry and roll out until 1/4 cm thick and place in a pre-greased pie dish.
  10. Put a covering of greaseproof paper over the pastry base, add dried beans on top and blind bake for 30 mins at 180’c, 375’f and gas mark 4 on the middle shelf.
  11. Remove from oven and discard the paper and beans (keep the beans to use again).
  12. Add the cooled filling to the pastry base.
  13. Roll out the remaining pastry to cover the top.
  14. Gently place the pastry over the top of your pie, sealing the edges together with a little water.
  15. Brush the pastry top with either milk or beaten egg.
  16. Cut a hole in the top of your pastry for steam to escape.
  17. Cook for 35-45 mins or until golden brown.
  18. Serve and enjoy.


Next week, a nice alternative to Chicken and Tattie, Grilled Indian Chicken and Bombay Potato. For this you shall need, Chicken, breast or legs, potatoes, natural yoghurt and spices. I use garlic granules, ginger fresh or powdered, cumin powder, cumin seed, garam masala, turmeric, chilli, mustard seeds and coriander powder, however you could just use a curry powder if you prefer.

Bombay Spuds n Grilled Indian Chicken


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