Roots, ham and caramelised onion pie
- November 2006
- 12 whole pickling onions or small shallots
- 90g butter
- 1 fresh thyme sprig, leaves picked
- 2 tsp caster sugar
- 225g carrots, cut into small chunks
- 225g swede, cut into chunks
- 225g celeriac, cut into chunks
- 225g piece cooked ham, cut into chunks
- 30g plain flour, plus extra for dusting
- 600ml full-fat milk
- 50g fresh Parmesan, grated
- Good handful chopped fresh parsley
- 375g ready-rolled shortcrust pastry
- 1 medium egg, beaten
- Put the onions into a bowl, pour over a kettle of boiling water and soak for 5 minutes. Drain, halve and peel. Melt 50g of the butter in a large pan over a very low heat, then add the onions and cook, covered, for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until tender. Increase the heat to medium, add the thyme and sugar and cook, uncovered, for 5-6 minutes, until caramelised. Cool.
- Meanwhile, put the rest of the vegetables into a steamer or colander over a pan of boiling water, cover, and steam for 10-12 minutes, until tender. Drain well and toss together with the ham and onions.
- Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Make the sauce. Melt the remaining butter in a pan over a medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Gradually stir in the milk and cook, stirring, until smooth and thickened. Simmer for 2 minutes, stirring continuously. Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese and parsley. Season.
- Pour the sauce over the vegetables and ham, and stir well. Spoon into a 2-litre pie dish. Unroll the pastry on a lightly floured surface and cut out a shape about 2cm bigger than the dish. Cover the dish with the pastry, trim the edges and use the trimmings to decorate the top of the pie.
- Brush the pastry with the egg and make a snip in the top for the steam to escape. Sit on a baking sheet and bake for 40 minutes, until golden.
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