- Food & Drink
Thatched lamb pie
My fingers are cold, but wearing gloves indoors seriously restricts my ability to do anything other than polish glass with my mitteny hands. My feet are cold, but I can’t get more socks on. In fact, I don’t think I have any more socks. Just as the country’s thermometers hesitatingly nudge past 5°C and everyone strips down to their vests, my body throws itself into reverse and insists that it’s all got a bit Siberian around here.
Without more clothes to put on or notches on the central heating dial to turn to, I’m forced to generate heat from within. This means porridge in the morning and pie at night. The benefits of a potato topped pie is that you can generate plenty of cosy steam boiling the potatoes and then cuddle up to the oven door while the pie bakes to a golden crisp.
This pie serves 2 people fairly generously, so I don’t think you need to bother with cooking extra veg, but if you’ve been out tilling in the frozen fields then a heap of buttered greens might be appreciated.
Thatched lamb pie
Serves 2 on its own or 4 with lots of extra veg
750g waxy potatoes, scrubbed
2 tsp oil
250g lamb mince
150g leeks, washed, trimmed and thinly sliced
220g carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 sticks celery, trimmed and finely chopped
2 anchovies, chopped
1 bay leaf
300ml red wine
30g butter, melted
1 Bring a pan of water to the boil and add the whole potatoes. Bring back to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Drain and leave until cool enough to handle.
2 Meanwhile, heat 2 tsp oil in a medium pan and add the lamb mince. Fry, stirring, over a medium heat for 5 minutes, until starting to brown. Add the leeks, carrots and celery and fry, stirring, for 10 minutes, until the vegetables are softened.
3 Add the anchovies, bay leaf, wine and stock and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, until thickened. Meanwhile, peal the potatoes and coarsely grate. Stir the butter into the potatoes to coat and season with a little salt. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C/fan oven 160°C.
4 Season the lamb to taste and remove the bay leaf. Transfer to a small (1 litre) ovenproof dish and top with the grated potatoes. Bake for 45 minutes until golden and crisp. Serve immediately.