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New Zealand Lamb Pie

  • Feeds 4 - 6 people
  • Prep time 01h 30
  • Cook time 01h 00

Warming and comforting, nothing beats a homemade pie in the chilly winter months. Slow cooked lamb is unctuously silky and has a wonderful depth and sweetness so it’s only improved by a flaky golden casing. Served with a healthy portion of mashed potatoes and greens, the dish epitomises a hug on a plate.

Tip: You can buy ready-made pastry if short on time, or use a food processor to make the pastry but be careful not to over work it or the pastry will be tough. This recipe makes shortcrust pastry, but you could use puff pastry, depending on your preference - but be sure to rest the pie well to allow for shrinkage.

  1. Grease and line a 25cm pie dish with a rim. Peel and halve the shallots, peel and chop the garlic, and cut the lamb in 2cm chunks.
  2. In a deep, roomy pan heat one tablespoon of the oil and cook the shallots until golden then remove to a plate and set aside for later. Add the rest of the oil to the pan and brown the lamb in batches.
  3. Add all the lamb back to the pan, sprinkle over the flour and cook for a minute or two. Stir in the red wine, incorporating all the flour (4 tbsp), then add the beef stock, tomato puree, and redcurrant jelly. Bring to a boil then turn down and simmer very, very gently for about an hour, stirring often. Alternatively cover and cook in the oven at 160°C for one hour.
  4. Add the carrots and shallots to the pot and cook for a further 20 to 30 minutes until the meat is really tender and the carrots just cooked. The sauce should be thick, rich and delicious, if it’s not, remove the meat and boil to reduce a little more.
  5. Meanwhile make the pastry. Rub the butter into the flour until it resembles fine breadcrumbs. Mix 1 egg (the other is to be brushed over the pastry later) with the water and pour in gradually until the dough comes together. The mix should come away from the sides of the bowl. If it doesn’t just add a touch more water. Knead the dough into a ball and leave to rest in a cool place for 30 minutes.
  6. Cut the dough roughly into two portions, one slightly larger than the other. On a floured work surface roll out the larger piece and use to line the pie dish. Trim the edges and moisten the rim with water. Spoon in the cooled filling.
  7. Roll out the remaining pastry and using a rolling pin, drape over the top of the pie. Trim the edges and crimp to seal, or if you prefer a simpler finish use the tines of a fork. Make a small hole in the middle for the steam to escape and decorate the pie with the trimmings if you like. Now rest the pie for 30 minutes for the pastry to relax and preheat the oven to 180°C/gas mark 4. Alternatively cover and put in the fridge until ready to cook.
  8. Whisk the egg and use this to brush over the pastry, and bake in the oven for 40 to 45 minutes until piping hot and deep golden. Serve with mash and green vegetables.

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