The 2-8 March is British Pie Week, and so we asked Executive Chef Stuart Thomson to share one of his favourite pie recipes, inspired by the flavours of a Moroccan tagine.
Makes six individual pies or one large pie
For the filling
20g plain flour
Pinch of salt
½ tsp ground cumin
½ tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp sweet smoked paprika
400g lamb shoulder, diced
30ml sunflower oil
100g silver skin onions, peeled
Pinch of saffron
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 star anise
4 medium tomatoes, deseeded and diced
60g baby carrots, peeled and stalk removed
60g dried apricots, diced
300ml vegetable stock
For the pie crust
500g ready-to-roll shortcrust pastry
1 egg yolk mixed with 1 tbsp cold water
For the filling
1. Add the plain flour, salt, cinnamon, cumin and sweet paprika to a large mixing bowl. Coat the lamb in the flour mixture and then shake off the excess.
2. Heat a heavy-bottomed pan on a medium heat, then add in the sunflower oil.
3. Gently fry the diced lamb in the pan and brown the meat all over. Then add the onions, saffron, garlic and star anise.
4. After a few minutes, gradually stir in the diced tomatoes. The flour coating on the lamb will start the thicken the sauce, so keep stirring to avoid lumps.
5. Now add the carrots, apricots and stock. The stock should cover everything in the pan – if it doesn’t, add a little more.
6. Cover the pan and simmer for 30 minutes, or until the lamb is tender. Set aside and leave to cool.
For the pie
The method below is for individual pies, but you could use 25cm non-stick pie dish to make one large one.
1. Cut a disk large enough to cover the bottom and sides of each 10cm non-stick pie dish – allow 10cm of excess to pastry to hang over the outside of each dish.
2. Fill the pastry with about 100-120g of the lamb mixture, pressing down to pack in the filling.
3. Fold the overlapping pastry into the centre and brush lightly with the egg yolk and cold water.
4. Cut a disk the same size as the top of the pie dish and place on top. Press gently to secure the pastry lid.
5. Brush with more of the egg wash and repeat with all of the pies.
6. Pre-heat the oven to 170°C fan.
7. Place the pies on a baking tray and bake for 35 minutes.
8. If you don’t want to eat the pies straight away, leave to cool and keep in the fridge. They’ll last for up to three days – just heat through thoroughly before serving.