The dark meat from the legs has a deep flavour and is less dry than turkey breast, so it works well in a pie. In fact, it is a good way to use up your turkey if you have a whole bird that is too big for Christmas day. You can take off the legs to make the pie and just roast the breast as a crown on the bone. You could make this pie with leftovers if you have enough from Christmas day, using a mix of breast and leg meat, but you need to eat it warm straight from the oven, as it wouldn’t keep well if cooled.

Hot water pastry is a peculiar ingredient. You’ll need to work with speed and confidence before it cools and becomes difficult to work. The payoff is a pie that holds its shape in a striking way, allowing for generous, well-packed slices. Delicious hot with gravy, mash and greens; or cold served as a cold-cut with chutney and a simple salad.



  • Turn your oven to 160⁰C/Gas 3. Rub the turkey legs with a little oil and season them generously with salt. Place them in a deep roasting tray and transfer them to the oven to for 25 minutes until they have started to brown. 

    Remove the tray from the oven and tuck the carrots, celery and bay beneath turkey legs. Pour the wine and water into the tray and cover it tightly with foil. Return the tray to the oven and drop the temperature to 160⁰/Gas 3. Bake for a further 2 hours.

    While the turkey is cooking, you can make the stuffing. Place the onions and bacon in saucepan with 1 tablespoon of oil and cook gently for 20 minutes, until the onions have softened and the bacon is starting to crisp a little. Transfer to a mixing bowl and mix in all the other ingredients. Keep in the fridge until needed. 

    When the turkey is ready, remove the legs from the tray and put them to one side. Remove the vegetables from the liquid in the tray – you don’t need them for the pie, but they are delicious and shouldn’t be discarded, scoff them as a chef’s perk. When cool enough to handle, roughly shred the meat away from the bones. Discard the bones, skin and any gristle, or use them to make stock. Add the meat back to the roasting tray and mix it into the flavoursome roasting liquid. Taste and tweak the seasoning with salt and pepper.

    Turn your oven to 160⁰C/Gas 3 to preheat. Add the stuffing to the turkey and roughly mix it so that you have good chunks of stuffing and turkey. 

    Now make your pastry. Put the lard, salt and water in a saucepan and heat until the lard has melted. Meanwhile, tip the flour and butter into a mixing bowl and rub it together until it has a crumb-like texture. Grease a 22cm spring-form cake tin with butter. Tip the melted lard into the mixing bowl and use a spoon to mix the dough together. When just cool enough to handle, knead it together a few times until smooth and elastic. Remove a quarter of the dough and keep to one side. 

    Working fast before the dough cools down, dust a work surface with flour and roll the remaining dough out into a large circle about 3mm thick. Drape the dough into the cake tin. Work it down into the base and press it into the sides, leaving a generous overhang around the edge. If the dough splits or has any holes, use some trimmings to patch it up. Pack the turkey and stuffing mixture into the tin. It should be generously filled with a domed top. Roll out the remaining pastry to form the lid and crimp it together with the overhanging edge, trimming away any excess. 

    Brush the top with beaten egg and cut a vent hole in the middle. Transfer it to the oven to bake for 1½ -hours, or until the top is golden and the pie is piping hot in the centre. Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 10 minutes before unclipping. Serve warm; or chill, refrigerate and serve cold.

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