ITALIAN EASTER LAMB PIE
These moist lamb pies are popular in Sicily, Italy during Easter celebrations. The recipe includes a pie pastry made from scratch but you could use store-bought pastry to save time.
2 1⁄4 teaspoon active dry yeast 2 1⁄4 cups normal flour 1 tablespoon vegetable shortening or butter 3⁄4 teaspoon salt, to taste 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped 350 gms lamb shoulder, thinly sliced 1 tablespoon finely chopped basil 1 tablespoon finely chopped oregano 1 tablespoon finely chopped parsley Freshly ground black pepper, to taste 1 egg, beaten
Combine yeast and cup warm-hot water in a small bowl and let sit until foamy, about 10 minutes. Make dough: Place flour in a large bowl and form a well in center; add yeast mixture, shortening/butter, and teaspoon salt and mix until dough forms. Transfer to a floured work surface and knead until smooth, 6–8 minutes. Transfer dough to a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and let sit until doubled in size, about 1 hour. Meanwhile, mash remaining salt and garlic into a smooth paste and combine with lamb, basil, oregano, parsley, and a generous amount of pepper in a medium bowl; set aside. Heat oven to 220° Celsius. Make pie pastry: Using a knife, cut away one third of dough; cover with plastic wrap and set aside. Using a rolling pin, roll remaining dough until thick and trim to make a 9 circle; transfer circle to greaseproof paper—lined baking sheet and mound lamb mixture in center, leaving a 1 border around edge. Using a pastry brush, brush border with egg. Roll remaining dough until thick and trim to form a 8 circle; place circle on top of lamb mixture and bring border of larger circle up to meet edge of smaller circle, pinching edges together to seal. Repeat around circles, crimping edge as you go, to form a pie; brush whole pie with egg and poke a paring knife in center of top to vent. Bake until pie is golden brown and cooked through, 25–30 minutes. Let cool for 15 minutes before slicing and serving.