National Pie Week

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Apparently its #nationalpieweek ! Who thinks of these things?

However you can’t beat a good pie and although I say it myself this is a pretty good pie! It is an adaptation of a Meat and potato Pie recipe by Paul Hollywood in Pies and Puds. When I made his version I am sorry to say the filling was less than successful, not enough flavour and the meat wasn’t really tender enough despite having followed his instructions to the letter. The pastry however was a triumph – it was a suet pastry using self raising flour, a really tasty and crumbly topping. I adapted the recipe slightly for this pie as I only had a small amount of suet left but liked the resulting buttery flavour. The recipe calls for grated butter, if you pop your butter in the freezer when you start the meat it will be frozen enough to grate when you make the pastry. Finally before I give you the recipe this pie is one to make if you have a spare afternoon, there is lots of pre-preparation, but once in the oven you can happily clear everything away while it cooks leaving a lovely tidy kitchen!

Lamb and Layered Potato Pie – Serves 6

Filling

950g lean diced lamb

1tbsp olive oil

1 medium onion

1 tbsp plain flour

450ml beef stock

Bay leaf

6 medium potatoes

Salt and Pepper

Pastry

75g Suet

100g grated butter

375g self raising flour

Pinch salt

220ml ice cold water

To make the filling

Preheat the oven to 160C fan. In a large oven proof casserole dish heat the oil and brown the meat over a high heat really thoroughly in 2 or 3 batches. Don’t worry if it sticks to the bottom this all adds to the flavour. When browned remove and keep to one side. Chop the onion and add to the pan. Turn the heat right down and pop the lid on the casserole for 10 mins. this will cook and soften the onions, give it a stir and return the meat to the pan along with the tablespoon of flour. Turn the heat up and cook for about 1 minute. Add the  stock and bayleaf and stir again, bring to a simmer. Put the lid back on and put in the oven for 1 1/2 hours. When cooked transfer the meat to your pie dish, mine is 30 x 23 x 6cm, and leave it to cool.

When you are ready to cook the pie make the pastry. Preheat the oven to 200C

To grate butter simply take a frozen block of butter and use a cheese grater to grate the amount you require.

Mix the flour, butter and suet in a large mixing bowl. Add the water gradually and combine using a fork until the mixture makes a soft dough. Finish by combining together using your hands in the bowl but try not to handle the mixture too much. |
Pop in the fridge while you prepare the potatoes.

Peel and thinly slice the potatoes, I used the finest attachment on my food processor. Layer the potato as evenly as possible over the meat in the pie dish. Season each layer with salt and pepper and small dots of butter ( about 1 tsp per layer).

Roll a small portion of the pastry to 3mm thickness, and cut into 1cm strips. Wet the edges of the pie dish with water and form a strip around the outside edge of the dish. Wet the strip with water. Roll out the remaining pastry to a depth of 3-5mm and top the pie with it, trim the edges and pinch together the strip and topping to form a crust. Use any off cuts to decorate the top of your pie, I cut out little jumping lambs for mine! Make a couple of small cuts in the centre of the pie to release the steam. Brush with milk or an egg wash to help with the colour.

Bake for 45-55 minutes, the potatoes need all of this time s if the top starts to look a bit browner than you would like just cover with some tin foil for the last 5 or 10 minutes.

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