Winner, winner, meat pie dinner
I couldn’t resist that but you shouldn’t resist this grass-fed lamb, pea and mint pie dish.
And it’s easy.
- SERVES: 4 – 6 people
- PREP TIME: 15 mins + 2 – 3 hours hands-off slow cooking of the lamb
- COOK TIME: 20 – 30 mins
- DIFFICULTY: easy
- IDEAL FOR: weekend meal
- BUDGET: £
Lamb, pea and mint pie
I adapted this a little from the BBC Good Food recipe.
I used lamb neck instead of lamb shanks.
And I shop-bought the short-crust pastry.
Lamb neck is inexpensive and full of flavour.
A bit like my beloved oxtail, neck meat also has plenty of collagen, that lends a silky richness to stews, braises, ragùs, and other slow-cooked dishes.
So, using it for a pie is a no-brainer.
And just like other inexpensive cuts, it does mean a long slow cook.
Which means this isn’t a quick pie.
I think it’s a great weekend pie.
Wake up, brown the lamb, and pop it in for a hands-off low and slow cook.
Then whip together the pie itself at the last minute and in 20 – 30 mins you have a really unctuous pie.
If you can, try and buy grass-fed lamb.
You’ll be rewarded with flavour and you’ll know the animal was looked after.
If I can ‘cheat’ a little bit to save time, then I will.
Pastry’s a bit like that.
Some pastry is so simple, that you may as well whip it up yourself.
But others like filo… forget it.
And it can come down to time.
So, for this lamb, pea and mint recipe, I confess, I bought the pastry.
It’s easier enough to make (see below) but life has gotten a little hectic recently so I took a simple shortcut.
Oh and if you want a few more tips on pastry, visit here.
In my opinion, it’s the most versatile. You can use it for savoury and sweet pies, quiches, tarts and flans.
It’s made up of flour and fat which gives it a crumbly texture, rather than a flaky one.
So, it’s great when you need to make robust cases for pies and tarts with either wet or dry fillings.
This is Grandma Gunstones’ recipe and works a treat:
Grandma G’s top tips:
- You need cold hands! Or use a food processor to mix so your hands don’t warm or melt the butter
- Blind bake in the tin you’re using for the pie
- Make sure the pastry is almost cooked before adding your filling
- Glaze the top of your pastry before cooking to add a shine or deeper colour
- Different glazes create different effects
- Use egg whites for a very shiny finish
- Beaten eggs or egg yolks for a deeply coloured shine
- Milk or cream for a matt golden colour
- For filo pastry, glaze with melted butter or a neutral oil
Lamb, pea and mint pie
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 kg lambs neck, cut into chunks
- 2 onions, chopped
- 2 carrots, diced
- 2 rosemary sprigs, leaves finely chopped
- 300 ml white wine
- 1.5 litres good quality chicken stock
- 250 g frozen peas
- small bunch of mint, finely chopped
- 250 g shop bought short-crust pastry (recipe for homemade in post)
- 1 egg, beaten
- Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole dish and brown the lamb neck (you may need to do this in batches). Transfer the lamb to a plate. Reduce the heat, add the onions, and gently soften, adding a splash of oil if you need to. Add in the carrots, and rosemary and cook for another few minutes.Add the wine and bring to a simmer, scraping all the lamb bits off the bottom of the dish as you go – these will add lots of flavour. When the wine has boiled for 1 min, add the stock, return the lamb and any juices, and gently bring to a simmer. Cover with a tight-fitting lid, reduce the heat a little, and cook until the meat is very tender, approx 2-3 hrs.
- Pastry: turn the oven on to 200C.Cut 2/3's of the pastry and on a flat service dusted with flour, roll out your pastry making sure it will cover a pie dish approx. 20cm and 5cm deep.Grease your pie dish with butter then gently lay your pastry into the dish, cut off any excess pastry but remembering pastry shrinks when baked. Using a fork, make a few holes in the base then put some baking paper over the pastry and add some baking beans. Bake for approx. 15 mins or until the base is starting to brown.
- Approx. 10 mins before you're ready to make the pie, add the peas and mint to the lamb.Roll out the pastry lid ready to add over your pie dish.Using a spoon with holes, gently spoon the lamb mix into the baked pastry dish, then using a spoon add in as much of the lamb gravy as you can.Gently lay over the pastry lid crimping the sides and make 2 small cuts for steam to escape.Brush with the beaten egg and pop in the oven for 20 – 30 mins or until the lid is cooked and a nice golden brown.Serve.