Veal and ham raised pie

Veal and ham raised pie

Leiths How to Cook
Peter Cassidy


Quantity Ingredient
1 quantity Hot water crust pastry
1 egg

For the filling

Quantity Ingredient
1 small onion
bunch flat-leaf parsley
550g boned shoulder of veal
100 g piece gammon
150-200ml aspic
freshly ground black pepper


  1. Prepare and shape the pastry around a 400 ml soufflé dish.
  2. The next day, or when ready to cook, heat the oven 190ºC.
  3. For the filling, halve, peel and finely dice the onion. Finely chop enough parsley leaves to give you 3 tablespoons. Remove any surface gristle and sinew from the veal, trim any excess fat off the gammon and veal and cut both meats into 1.5 cm cubes.
  4. Mix the onion, meats and half the parsley together in a large bowl and season well with salt and pepper. Reserve the rest of the parsley for the aspic.
  5. Remove the shaped pastry and the smaller disc from the fridge. Turn the shaped pastry the right way up and peel the cling film away from inside the dish. Ease the cling film a little from the dish and lift the dish out of the pastry without damaging the pastry. Peel away the cling film and greaseproof paper from the inside of the pastry case.
  6. Carefully lift the pastry case up to the light and check the corners; if you can see light through them you will need to reinforce them using a thin band cut from around the edge of the pastry for the lid, by gently pushing it into the area needed.
  7. Wrap a double layer of baking parchment around the outside of the pie case to support it and secure with paper clips or string (don’t tie string too tightly or it will create a waist in the pie once cooked). Make sure the rim of pastry is not covered by paper, so you can seal it with the lid.
  8. Place the pie case on a lipped baking sheet and add the filling, packing it into the corners, to help support the pastry, and doming it on the top.
  9. Check the pastry lid is the right size to fit over the top. Lightly beat the egg with a very small pinch of salt, using a fork, then pass through a sieve into a bowl. Brush beaten egg on the inside of the pastry lid. Lay the lid on top of the pie, fold the edges of the lid up against the inside of the pie and press together to seal. Using a pair of scissors, trim off only the top edge, not too deep or you will break the seal.
  10. Using your thumb and forefinger, crimp the pastry edge. Now make a steam hole in the middle of the top and insert the tip of a 5 mm piping nozzle (this will prevent the hole closing). If you have any pastry left, roll it out thinly and cut out decorations, if desired; stick them to the top of the pie with the beaten egg.
  11. Brush the top of the pie with beaten egg to glaze. Bake for 15 minutes, then lower the oven setting to 170ºC and bake the pie for a further 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and take off the paper collar. If the pie suddenly begins to slump and lose shape, tie the paper round the pie again and continue to cook for a further 15 minutes. If the pie holds its shape, brush the sides and the top again with beaten egg and return to the oven for a further 30 minutes, or until cooked.
  12. To check that the pie is cooked, insert a skewer into the middle through the steam hole, leave it for 10 seconds, then remove and immediately touch it to your inner wrist; it should be hot. If not, cook the pie for a further 15 minutes.
  13. Once the pie is cooked, remove it from the oven and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  14. Follow the instructions on the aspic packet to dissolve and sponge it. When the aspic begins to thicken and set a little (still pourable but thick enough to hold the parsley in suspension), add the reserved parsley.
  15. Carefully pour the aspic through the piping nozzle into the pie, allowing it to seep into the air holes and between the meat and the pastry. You might need to lift the pastry around the steam hole first to allow the aspic to feed through, taking care not to break the pastry. Allow the aspic to set for 3–4 hours before cutting the pie.


  • Duck, sour cherry and pistachio raised pie: Omit the ham and parsley. Reduce the veal to 150 g and add 400 g duck leg meat (about 3–4 duck legs, meat only, sinews removed) and toss in 1½ tablespoons cornflour. Add 75 g dried sour cherries and 50 g skinned whole pistachios, with the onion. Season generously and proceed as for the main recipe.

    Duck and green peppercorn raised pie: Omit the ham and parsley. Reduce the veal to 150 g and add 400 g duck leg meat (about 3–4 duck legs, meat only, sinews removed) and toss in 1½ tablespoons cornflour. Add ½–1 tablespoon green peppercorns with the onion.

    Pork, apple and sage raised pie: Replace the filling for the main recipe with 650 g cubed shoulder of pork, 1 small finely diced onion, 1 peeled, cored and finely diced dessert apple, 30 g raisins and 1 teaspoon dried sage or 5–6 fresh sage leaves, chiffonaded or finely chopped. Season well with salt and plenty of pepper.

    Raised game pie: Replace the filling in the main recipe with 350 g mixed game, cut into 1.5 cm dice (venison, rabbit, partridge, pheasant or pigeon would be good), 250 g minced pork belly, 3 rashers of streaky bacon, cut into strips, 1 small finely diced onion, 5–6 finely chopped sage leaves and ¼ teaspoon allspice. Season well.

    Individual raised pies: Shape the pastry crust around ramekins and proceed as for the main recipe, or shape the pie cases by hand.

A note on leakage…

  • Raised pies can sometimes leak, if the pastry is a little thin or has a weak spot. If after cooking the pie is leaking, allow it to cool, then use soft butter to plug any holes. Allow the butter to firm completely by putting the pie in the fridge for 30–45 minutes. After the aspic has been added to the pie and set, the butter can be scraped away before serving.

A note on aspic…

  • Aspic is added to raised pies because as the meat cooks it shrinks and releases juices, and as it cools the meat re-absorbs the juice but leaves a gap between the meat and the pastry walls of the pie. Aspic fills all the air holes and holds the pie together when cut. It also helps to preserve the pie, so it can be kept for a few days.

    Traditionally, the bones from the meat would be simmered in water and flavourings, strained and cooled to produce a savoury jelly. But these days you can buy aspic powder and use it in the same way as gelatine.

    Alternatively, you can use gelatine: 1 teaspoon powdered gelatine is enough to soft-set 150–200 ml lightly flavoured chicken stock. Add a little tarragon or sherry vinegar (about 1 teaspoon or to taste), 1 teaspoon finely chopped parsley and salt and pepper.
Leiths School of food and wine
cookery course
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