Simple pleasures

Hand-raised lamb, potato and spinach pie.

Since my father’s inexplicable and treacherous switching of allegiance from Newcastle Untied to Reading FC, he now has a cup of tea and a Waitrose balti pie every half time at the game. Although if my mum is reading this it’s a kale, quinoa and beetroot salad with a superfood turmeric smoothie he enjoys.

Now while I will never condone such turncoat behaviour, I have to say that the pie served there is a triumph on a cold Tuesday evening while you’re sat watching a nil-nil draw among the opposition supporters trying not to shout encouragement to the Toon.

This recipe is inspired by the football pie and uses leftover slow-roast lamb and spinach and potato curry encased in a hand-raised hot crust pastry. It’s delicious hot or cold and will feed you and your neighbours well. I served mine with a jar of Encona sauce adulterated piccalilli (bought, I don’t have the enthusiasm to make my own, which to be honest would sit at the back of the fridge -getting me into trouble with Bee- untouched for about a year).

Because this uses leftovers for the filling (see recipe links), I’m just going give you the pastry and jelly ingredients and instructions. It was if memory serves, about 800g of the lamb and a good few ladlefuls of the potato curry. Just stuff it full of meat and potato and pour in the jelly as directed. If you’re making this from scratch, you could substitute the lamb leftovers for cubed lamb, spiced similarly but cooked gently with some liquid in a casserole dish for only an hour or two.
To make the crust you will need:
600g flour
225g lard
175ml  water
A large pinch of salt
1 egg, beaten
For the jelly you will need:
5 gelatine leaves
250ml lamb or vegetable stock
1tbsp garam masala

Heat the oven to 190c/Gas 7.
Make the jelly by soaking the gelatine in cold water then draining and pouring in the hot stock and whisking until they dissolve. Set aside.
Melt the lard in a saucepan with the water and quickly pour it into a bowl with the salt and flour, mixing well until combined.
Oil a 20cm removable bottom pie tin or cake tin and press the filling in until the bottom and edges are well lined. Fill with the filling, gently roll out the pastry top and crimp on to the pie.
Make a hole in the centre and pour in the jelly then brush the top with beaten egg.
Bake in the oven for one hour or until the pastry is golden brown and crisp.
Leave to cool a bit before removing and serving.

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