This week’s feature recipe is for Jim over at Farm Boy, who wants to know how to use leeks in something other than leek and potato soup, and for all of you who have leftover turkey from Christmas in the freezer.
I saw Jamie Oliver make this on the Food Network, one night, just before Christmas. It looked so easy and tasty that I had to try it. We had some leftover turkey from Thanksgiving in the freezer, so I made the dish just before Christmas; then I made it again last week with leftover turkey from Christmas.
If you have any leftover turkey in your freezer, try this recipe.
2 slices bacon, chopped
1/2 bunch fresh thyme, leaves picked (substitute savoury, four or five sprigs, leaves picked)
1 or 2 tbsp olive oil
Large knob of butter
3 or 4 leeks, washed, trimmed; cut white ends into chunks; thinly slice green ends
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
800 grams (1¾ lb, or a medium Ziploc freezer bag full) leftover turkey (white or white and dark meat, as you prefer), roughly chopped into chunks
2 heaping tablespoons of flour
4 cups turkey, chicken or vegetable stock
2 tablespoons crème fraîche (substitute with sour cream or yogurt)
1 sheet 10 in. by 10 in. puff pastry, thawed
1 egg, beaten
Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Place bacon in a large pan or a sauce pot (for which you have a tight fitting lid), over medium heat. Add thyme leaves, olive oil and butter and fry all together till bacon starts to crisp up. Add leeks and fry about three minutes. Stir so they are well coated with butter. Add a pinch of salt and pepper; then place the lid on your pan or pot. Turn heat down to medium-low and let leeks cook gently for 30 minutes. Stir every 5-10 minutes to ensure they don’t stick. When done, leeks will be soft and moist and melt in your mouth.
Add the turkey meat to the leeks and stir. Add the flour, mix it in, pour in the stock and mix well. Stir in the crème fraîche (or sour cream, or yogurt), turn up the heat and bring to a boil. Taste for salt and pepper and add more if necessary. Simmer a few minutes; then turn off heat.
Pour the turkey and leek mixture through a strainer into another large empty pot or pan to separate the gravy from the mixture. Put gravy aside.
Place the turkey and leek mixture into a 10 by 10-inch or 8 by 12-inch casserole dish. Top with the puff pastry (you may have to roll it out a bit to fit your dish). Tuck the ends in if necessary. Then gently score the pastry diagonally with a sharp knife. Add a pinch of salt to your beaten egg and paint this egg wash over the pastry.
Bake in pre-heated 375 degree oven for 35-40 minutes, until pastry is puffed up and golden brown. Remove from oven and let cool a bit before serving with the re-heated gravy and accompanied with peas tossed with butter, salt and pepper. (Cranberry sauce is also a nice accompaniment to this casserole).
Now, let’s get cooking!