I was thrilled to be commissioned to write, style and shoot five savoury pie recipes for the American magazine Organic Gardening and my feature appeared in their January 2015 issue. They work on marvellously long lead times, so the project was finished over a year ago. This recipe for lamb pie with mint and peas is one of my favourites. It cooks slowly to develop all the flavours and has a delicious potato galette topping. It’s worth all the effort to make and is guaranteed to impress at your next social gathering.
Savoury pies are one of the most comforting meals you can get, and this one is ideal for chilly winter months.
Recipe serves 6 – 8 – First published in Organic Gardening Magazine Jan 2015
- 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
- 1T chopped parsley
- 1T chopped thyme
- 1T chopped rosemary + 1 whole stalk with leaves on
- 1 x 410g tin of chopped peeled tomatoes
- 1 cup (250ml) lamb stock
- 1 ½ cups frozen/fresh peas
- 2T chopped mint
- 3 potatoes, thinly sliced
- 3T cream
- 2 t melted butter
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 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).
When it’s cooked and the sauce is thick, turn off the heat, remove the rosemary stalk; add the mint and peas and stir.
Check to season 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 ovenproof 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.