2 HOURS | SERVES 6 A LITTLE EFFORT
Mutton and lamb pies were, and still are, traditional in many parts of County Kerry, including Dingle. Cumin wasn’t part of the original recipe but an addition by Irish chef Myrtle Allen. The original pastry was made with lamb suet but Myrtle substituted butter with delicious results. This pie freezes perfectly for 2-3 months.
boneless lamb or mutton 450g (from the shoulder or leg) onions 250g carrots 250g plain flour 2 tbsp cumin seeds 1-2 tsp, toasted and crushed lamb stock 300ml seasonal leaves to serve
plain flour 350g butter 175g, diced egg 1, beaten
• Trim all the surplus fat from the meat and dice into neat cubes about the size of a small sugar lump. Render down the scraps of fat in a hot, wide pan until the fat runs out. Scoop out and discard any remaining solid pieces. Cut the onions and carrots into slightly smaller dice, then fry in the same pan for 3-4 minutes or until softening at the edges. Remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon and toss the meat in the remaining fat over a high heat until the colour changes.
• Stir the flour and cumin seeds into the meat. Cook gently for 2 minutes, then stir in the stock gradually. Bring to the boil, stirring occasionally. Return the vegetables to the pan, season, cover and leave to simmer. If using young lamb, 30 minutes will be sufficient; an older animal may take up to 1 hour.
• Meanwhile, make the pastry. Sift the flour and a pinch of salt into a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Put the butter into a pan with 110ml of water and bring to the boil. Pour the liquid into the flour all at once and mix together quickly, then beat until smooth. At first the pastry will be too soft to handle, but as soon as it cools it may be rolled out 2.5-5mm thick. Keep back 1/3 of the pastry for the lid and use the rest to line a 20cm-deep pie tin or dish.
• Heat the oven to 220C/fan 200C/gas 7. Fill the pastry-lined tin with the lamb mixture, which should be just-cooked and cooled a little. Brush the edges of the pastry with a little water and put on the pastry lid, pressing them tightly together. Roll out the trimmings to make pastry leaves or twirls to decorate the top of the pie, and make a hole in the centre. Egg-wash the lid and then egg-wash the decoration as well.
• Bake the pie for 40 minutes or until deep golden in colour. Serve with a salad of seasonal leaves.
PER SERVING 708 KCALS | FAT 42.1G SATURATES 23.3G | CARBS 56.6G | SUGARS 6G FIBRE 5.2G | PROTEIN 23G | SALT 0.8G