As a change from the usual Lamb Curry and Shepherd’s Pie, which are my go-to recipes for using up the remains of the Sunday Roast Lamb , I thought I would try something different. Taking as my Inspiration the Mutton Pies of my Scottish childhood, I have come up with this very simple recipe which makes 4 really quite filling and substantial pies. You could make them in a shallower ring, like a crumpet ring, which would produce pies which resemble more in size the Mutton pies from Scotland, bought from the local Baker, or you could even bake them in a large muffin tin, and then you would expect to get around 8 to 12 picnic sized pies.Really the only remotely difficult bit of this recipe is the forming of the pastry shells, but if you are making smaller ones in say a muffin tin, or free-forming them, then this wouldn’t be an issue. Here I am using an Olive-Oil Pastry, rather than the typical Hot-Water crust pastry that is used for Pork Pies. This is because I am trying to achieve a slightly stronger and more easily workable dough which makes for a much thinner, tougher but crispier pastry.
Food Processor, or large Chopping Board and Chefs Knife
A Baking sheet
A large Metal Pie Ring of 31/2” Diameter (9cm) and 21/2” Depth (6cm) or a similar sized jam jar, or a shallower Crumpet Ring, or a Deep Muffin tray.
Heat oven to 200C
1lb Very Cold Leftover Roast Lamb, cut into 1” chunks with a reasonable amount of fat left on
1 pint Chicken stock, or other good household stock ( Or you could use 1/2 a good stock cube dissolved in 1/3 cup of hot water)
Freshly Ground Black Pepper
Salt, preferably Maldon Sea Salt
1/4 teaspoon finely grated Nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon Ground Mace
10 oz Plain Flour
90ml (or 6 Tablespoons ) of Olive Oil
Warm Water, 8-10 tablespoons approx.
- Put the stock in a heavy pan and reduce to 5 tablespoons or 1/3 cup. Omit this step if you are using a stock cube as detailed above
- Whilst the stock is reducing, prepare everything you need to line the baking tray with Greaseproof Paper, and cut neat strips to line the inside of the Rings/Tins/outside of pies. I use a little sellotape on the outside join to assist with this task
- Put the meat into a food processor and process until very finely chopped but not so as it starts to become a paste.( Hence the importance of having it very cold) Or chop very finely if doing it by hand.
- In a bowl, mix the reduced stock/ stock cube solution with the nutmeg and mace and lots of black pepper. Add quite a lot of salt, maybe up to 1/2 teaspoon, but this will depend on how salty your Stock/stock cube was and you must taste as you go. Mix in the Lamb and taste again. It should be fairly peppery and quite savoury. Put in Fridge while you proceed with making the pastry.
- In the same food processor Bowl, or by hand in another bowl, process or rub together all the Flour, Oil and 6 tablespoons of warm water until you start to have a dough. Add gradually more tablespoons of warm water until you achieve a strong but elastic dough which is not wet or overly sticky, nor so dry that it looks like cracking. Place on the work surface and knead a moment or two. You should not have to flour the work surface, although lightly grease it with some oil if you absolutely need to.
- Cut off and reserve about 4 large walnut sized pieces for the lids, and divide the remaining into 4 equal sized balls. You may need to divide this into 8 or 12 depending on the size and number of pies which you intend to make.
- Keep the dough wrapped in cling film and in a warm place whilst you make each pastry shell.
- Now form the cases and fill with equal quantities of the cold meat mixture leaving at least 1/2” protruding above the level of the meat. You roll out the pastry very thinly into a circle of around 7 to 8” diameter and line the Pie Ring which has been fitted with a greaseproof collar inside, like I have done here, and placed before you start on the lined baking sheet. Then the pie is filled, the ring is removed , and the greaseproof-collared pie tied securely with kitchen string. Repeat for the other 3 pies. Don’t be afraid to work the pastry round with your fingers to make it fit thinly and evenly round the ring, and trim the tops if need be with kitchen scissors.
OR , you can free- form them like a traditional pork pie, in which case take a ball of the mixture, wrap the pastry circle round it, working it as you go to achieve a thin even casing flatten the mixture then line the outside with greaseproof and tie as above, or you can mould the pastry round a cling film lined jam jar and fill it then tie it up with greaseproof collar and string as above, ( but don’t forget to remove the clingfilm before filling with meat) or simply make them in oiled, lined muffin tins.
9. Lastly roll out the lids very thinly and moisten the undersides and place on the pies. Make sure the filling is firmly packed with a level top. Pinch all around the pie lids and pie edges to form a secure raised lip. Make a hole in the middle of each pie-I use the handle of a wooden spoon twisted about, or a Pencil would do. I have not used an egg-wash on these pies, as the original Scotch Mutton Pies were unglazed. By all means do if that would please you.
10. Bake for around 30 minutes for smaller pies, or 40 to 45 minutes for large pies until the pastry is crisp and the filling starting to bubble up. Remove the Greaseproof Collars for the last 5 minutes
Eat Hot, after resting for 5 minutes, or cool, refrigerate and store in Greaseproof for another day. They reheat very well in a moderate oven, and taste better reheated in my opinion as all the flavours have developed .