From a very young age, one of Neven's favourite pastimes was to shadow his mother in the kitchen, watching her cook; his pastime soon became ...
2 tblsp olive oil
1 large onion, finely chopped
1 tsp chopped fresh thyme
2 tblsp Dijon mustard
4 tblsp Amontillado sherry (medium dry)
150ml (1/4 pint) chicken or turkey stock or leftover gravy
100ml (3 1/2fl oz) cream
450g (1lb) leftover turkey and/or ham, cut into bite-sized pieces
For the Roasted Garlic Mash:
1 garlic bulb
1 tsp rapeseed oil
675g (1 1/2lb) floury potatoes, cut into chunks
50g (2oz) butter
4 tblsp milk
2 tblsp chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Salt and freshly ground white pepper
Steamed turnip and honey-glazed carrots, to serve
Heat the oil in a sauté pan and fry the onion and thyme for about 5 minutes until softened but not coloured. Stir in the Dijon mustard and cook for 1 minute, stirring. Pour the sherry into the pan and allow to bubble down, then continue to cook for a few minutes until well reduced and syrupy.
Pour the stock or gravy into the pan with the cream and bring to a simmer, stirring. Tip in the turkey and/or ham, then reduce the heat and simmer very gently for a few minutes until everything is nicely combined. Spoon into a 1.2 litre (2 pint) pie dish.
Meanwhile, prepare the roasted garlic mash. Preheat the oven to 160C (325F), Gas mark 3. Cut the base of the garlic bulb off so that the garlic cloves are just showing and brush with the rapeseed oil, then wrap lightly in foil. Bake for 1 hour or until completely tender, then leave until cool enough to handle and squeeze the flesh into a bowl – you should have about a tablespoon in total. Cover with clingfilm and set aside until needed.
Increase the oven temperature to 180C (350F), Gas mark 4. Put the potatoes into a pan of boiling salted water, cover and simmer for 15-20 minutes or until tender. Drain well, then mash with the reserved roasted garlic, the butter, milk and parsley. Season to taste. Carefully spread the roasted garlic mash the pie base to cover completely and fluff up with a fork. Bake for 25-30 minutes until heated through and lightly golden.
Serve the pie straight to the table with a separate bowls of the smashed steamed turnip and honey-glazed carrots to hand around.