Well, what a day. The floods in Cockermouth (10 miles away) have been making headline news all day. It’s strange to think that where we were standing yesterday afternoon is still under 4ft of water and is likely to be inundated for some time to come. My heart goes out to the people who live in and around Main Street, I can not even imagine what they must be feeling.
With the winds and rain set to continue tomorrow, it’s a night for comfort food (I don’t need much of an excuse for comfort food!). We had a wonderful joint of local lamb the other night for Nick’s birthday, so the leftovers now need using up. I’ve set about making a lamb pie, loosely based around my steak pie recipe. The filling is currently simmering away, or trying to simmer on our useless hob!
I’ve not yet attempted wheat-free (gluten-free in this case) pastry. My wheat free bread, made in our bread machine was a disaster, although I’ve since been told to try using chestnut flour. I’m keeping my fingers crossed for the pastry.
- 1 small onion, chopped
- 1 tbs olive oil
- 1 tbs gluten-free plain flour
- A good pinch of herbs de Provence
- Any left-over cooked lamb, or 300-400gr of fresh lamb, chopped
- 1/2 cup of pasata
- 1 cup of red wine
- 1/2 cup of good stock, I used chicken stock as I had some in the fridge.
- 1/2 cinnamon stick
- A few sprigs of fresh rosemary
- 1 tsp (heaped) of dried rosemary
- 6 mushrooms chopped in half
- 2 tsp of redcurrant jelly
- 1 leek, chopped into 1cm circle
- Heat the oil, add the onion and fry for a couple of minutes in an oven-safe dish until the onion is soft.
- Toss the lamb in the flour and herbs, add a good grind of black pepper and a little salt. Add to the onion.
- Add the rest of the ingredients, reduce the heat, cover and simmer gently for about 3/4 hour.
- Meanwhile, make the pastry.
- After the meat has simmer for 45 mins, remove the lid, add the leek and allow the sauce/gravy to reduce for 15 mins. At this stage you can also fish out the rosemary stems and the cinnamon stick.
The pastry recipe is from Stephen Howarth. I’m expecting great things Stephen!
- 8oz gluten-free plain flour
- 2oz butter, I used goat’s, but I’m going to try using Pure next time to make it totally dairy-free, cubed
- 2oz lard, cubed
- 1 medium egg, beaten
- Rub the butter into the flour.
- Stir in the egg and a couple of tablespoons of cold water.
- Turn out the crumbly dough and knead it. Or, like I did, knead it in the bowl. Unlike normal pastry, apparently ‘gluten-free pastry likes to be handled’.
- Wrap in clingfilm and place in the fridge for 30 mins.
- Roll-out 2/3 and line the base of a pie dish. This is easier said than done. You will use a lot more flour to keep the surface dusted, and it’s best to use short strokes of the rolling pin. As there is no gluten, there is not much elasticity in the pastry, so it splits easily as you roll it. When you turn the pastry, or need to handle it, use the rolling pin and the plate knife. You’ll quickly come unstuck if you use your hands!
- Fill the base with the lamb.
- Roll out the other piece of pastry, as above.
- Use a fork to press down the edges of the pie. Pierce the top and place in a preheated oven (180 degrees celcius) for 45 mins.
Result: It was good! The pastry was extremely short, which meant it cracked on top in the oven, but that didn’t matter. Also, the gluten-free flour tasty made the pastry taste quite floury. Having said that, I would definitely make it again!