We are in throes of winter here in South Africa and this rustic lamb pie with a potato galette topping is the perfect comfort dish to cosy up with. It’s also a wonderful way to feed a crowd. You can make most of it in advance, allowing the meat to slowly braise while you get on doing other things. Like sipping red wine in front of a fire.
The recipe comes from my first cookbook ‘Drizzle and Dip‘ and is a favourite of mine. I have also had excellent feedback from others who have made it.
If you want to spruce it up a bit you could make a variation I did for the American magazine – Organic Gardening (now Organic Life)– where I added mint and peas at the end of the braising stage. This added a delicious and vibrant twist.
Recipe serves 6 – 8
- 2kg leg of lamb meat, cut into cubes
- Olive oil to brown the meat
- 2 rashers streaky bacon
- 1 leek, finely chopped
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
- 2 carrots, grated
- 1 cup red wine
- 2 – 3 garlic cloves, crushed
- 1Tbsp chopped parsley
- 1Tbsp chopped thyme
- 1Tbsp chopped rosemary + 1 whole stalk with leaves on
- 1 x 410g tin of chopped peeled tomatoes
- 1 cup (250ml) lamb stock
- 3 potatoes, thinly sliced
- 3T cream
- 2 t melted butter
- Fresh rosemary to scatter
Heat a splash of olive oil in a large frying pan and brown the lamb pieces in batches on all sides until the meat starts to caramelise and go brown. Set aside.
In the same pan add another splash of olive oil and fry the bacon for a minute or two, add the vegetables and cook until they soften (about 6 minutes).
Add the wine and allow the liquid to evaporate off.
Put the vegetables and the meat into a large casserole / heavy based pot. Add the tomatoes, garlic, all the herbs and the stock, and bring to the boil, then reduce to a low heat and allow to gently simmer for about 2 hours (cook with a lid on for ½ an hour and then cook uncovered for the remaining 1 1/12 hours).
Check seasoning and add a generous sprinkling of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
Preheat the oven to 180C / 350F prior to the meat finishing cooking and prepare the potato slices for the topping.
Spread the cooked meat into a large appropriately sized oven proof dish.
Peel and slice the potatoes very thinly (I find a mandolin on a narrow setting works very well), and make a layer over the meat. Brush each layer of potato with melted butter and drizzle a little cream before adding the next layer. You should be able to make 3 to 4 layers. Brush the top layer with butter and scatter over fresh rosemary, salt and pepper.
Bake for 40 to 50 minutes or until the crust is golden brown and cooked through.
Serve with steamed green beans or any other vegetable of your choice.