While winter lingers and the UK is battered by one storm after another, we thought we’d pull out a hearty classic British pie recipe to warm the soul. Nick presented this Chicken & Ham Suet Pie recipe at his November 2019 Demo & Dine event. You can scale back the proportions depending on how big a pie you need or how many you’re feeding. Imagine serving up a classic British pie for Sunday lunch – we can see the glee on the faces around the table already! Perhaps the best thing of all about this recipe, especially if you’re entertaining friends, is that it can be made the day before and stored in the fridge.

Chicken and Ham Suet Pie

Ingredients for the filling

  • 250g Cooked & Brined Chicken thigh meat
  • 100g Wiltshire ham hock (Cooked)
  • 12x Small button mushrooms
  • 1x Large leek sliced and chopped (white only
  • 100g Unsalted Butter
  • 1x Onion peeled and diced
  • ½ bunch Tarragon finely sliced
  • ½ bunch Parsley finely sliced
  • 30g Butter, cubed 
  • 200ml Double cream
  • 500ml Reduced chicken stock
  • 200ml Chardonnay white wine
  • 40g Wholegrain mustard
  • 2x Garlic bulbs crushed and diced
  • Vegetable oil as needed

Filling method

  1. Chop the chicken thigh meat into bite size pieces.
  2. Shred the cooked ham hock into bite size pieces.
  3. Sweat the leeks in some butter until just softening. Set aside.
  4. Roast the button mushrooms in a small amount of vegetable oil in a hot oven until they are golden brown. Set aside.
  5. Make the sauce by sweating the diced onion with the garlic in the vegetable oil, add reduced chicken stock and bring to the boil.
  6. Add the Chardonnay and double cream.
  7. Bring to the boil and reduce to 1/3.
  8. Stir in the wholegrain mustard, chopped parsley, chopped tarragon.
  9. Season with salt and black pepper.

Suet pastry ingredients

  • 250g Self Raising Flour
  • 150 Beef Suet minced
  • 10g Salt
  • 8g Black pepper
  • 20g Chopped parsley
  • Cold water
  • Egg wash for glazing
  • Short/Puff pastry lid

Suet pastry method

  1. Sieve the flour into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Crumble in the minced suet fat and combine with the parsley, salt and black pepper.
  3. Slowly work 135ml cold water into the flour/suet mix, making sure not to overwork, if it seems too dry work in another 15-30ml of water.
  4. Wrap and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.
  5. Roll the pastry out to 4-8mm thickness. (Personal preference on the thickness of pastry)
  6. Line the moulds, or pie dish with butter or baking oil. (The better quality pie moulds used, the better the finished product)
  7. Gently press the pastry into the lined tray/moulds, making sure not to tear.

Make the pie

  1. Mix the chicken, ham hock, leeks, mushrooms and sauce together and ensure fill to the top. Ensure you have an even spread if using individual moulds.
  2. Place a puff pastry or short crust pastry lid on the top. Egg wash and pinch down to seal.
  3. Bake for 20-25 minutes at 220degC or until the suet pastry is crisp around the edges and the filling reaches 70degC.

Two suet pie tips

  1. Suet pastry should be golden and crisp on the outside when baked and soft on the inside.
  2. We use rounded 10cm diameter moulds for each individual pie.