High time for a pie


It’s National Pie Day – celebrate by trying your hand at one of these winter warmers.

Sweet lamb pie

Images and text from Oats in the North, Wheat from the South by Regula Ysewijn, photography by Regula Ysewijn, Murdoch Books RRP $49.99.

1 quantity hot water crust pastry

For the pie

  • 400g leg of lamb, deboned
  • 1 tsp ground nutmeg
  • 4 cloves, ground
  • 1/4 tsp ground mace
  • 1/8 tsp ground black pepper
  • 300g minced lamb neck
  • 1 Tbsp chopped parsley
  • 50g dried barberries and/or currants
  • 300g sweet potato, peeled and cooked, cut into 1cm dice
  • 150g artichoke hearts, cooked, cut into 1cm dice
  • 10g candied citrus peel, finely chopped

For the sauce

  • juice of 1 lemon
  • the same amount of white wine
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 egg yolk
  • 1 tsp butter

For an 18cm x 7cm high springform cake tin or a 2kg game pie mould.

Cut the lamb into 2cm chunks and dust with half of the spices. Add the other half of the spices to the minced meat and use your hands to mix the spices with the meat. Mix in the parsley and 2 tablespoons of the barberries or currants and roll the mixture into meatballs.

Preheat your oven to 200°C and line the base of the springform tin with baking paper. Set aside a third of the pastry to make the lid (if possible, keep it warm on a radiator or stove). Roll out the remaining pastry until 8mm thick. Place the pastry in the tin, mould it up the sides and make sure that there is some dough overhanging the edge to attach the pastry lid later. If you have cracks or holes, you can repair them with some left-over pastry.

Put some chunks of meat, meatballs, sweet potato and artichoke into the pastry crust and sprinkle some barberries or currants and candied peel over the top. Continue making layers of filling until the tin or mould is full. Roll out the pastry for the lid until 8mm thick. Brush the edge of the crust with the egg wash and place the pastry lid on top. Cut away the excess pastry and crimp the edges together. Make a hole in the top for the steam to escape. Decorate the pie as desired with the excess pastry and egg wash.

Bake the pie in the middle of your oven for 30 minutes, then reduce the oven to 160°C and bake for another 1¾ hours.

When the pie is ready, make the sauce. Bring the lemon juice and wine to the boil with the sugar. Beat the egg yolk in a bowl and add the warm sauce as you would for a custard. Finish with a little butter and gently reheat. Pour the sauce through the hole in the top of the pie. Serve by cutting around the lid and slicing the pastry into wedges. Scoop out the filling and divide it among your guests.

Beef and sweet potato cottage pie

Recipe by Mitsubishi Electric ambassador, Ed Halmagyi.

Serves 4

  • 1 brown onion, finely diced
  • 2 sticks celery, finely diced
  • 1 carrot, finely diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 500g premium beef mince
  • 2 Tbsp tomato paste
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 2 Tbsp dried Italian herbs
  • 3 cups sweet potato, diced
  • 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 180°C. Sauté the onion, celery, carrot and garlic in extra virgin olive oil for 5 minutes in a medium saucepan, then set aside.

Fry the mince in the same saucepan until browned, then return the onion mixture, pour into the tomato paste, stock and Italian herbs, then simmer for 45 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

Steam the sweet potatoes until tender, then purée until smooth. Season with salt and fold in the Parmesan. Spoon the beef filling into individual baking dishes, top with the sweet potato purée, then bake for 10 minutes.

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