Rich and tender, slow cooked lamb pie encased in crumbly pastry and topped with creamy, horseradish mash potato. The lamb and mint filling is easy to prepare and can be left to cook in the oven or slow cooker for a few hours. This delicious lamb pie recipe is made with a rich, full-flavoured, mint gravy and is a great twist on the classic shepherds pie.
Place a large pan on medium heat and add the oil. Once the oil has heated add the chopped onions and garlic and cook gently until soft.
Lay out the lamb and dust evenly with flour. When the onions are soft add the floured lamb to the pan and cook until browned all over. The lamb and flour will stick and brown the base of the pan.
Next add the wine, which should bubble as it hits the pan and help release any brown flour. Then gradually add the stock and bring to a simmer. Stir frequently allowing the stock to thicken as it combines with the flour.
Next place the gravy powder in a small container or cup and stir in enough cold water to form a loose paste. Pour the gravy paste into the pan and stir continuously over a gentle heat for 2-3 minutes, ensuring no lumps form from the gravy powder. Then add the ketchup, Worcestershire sauce and dried mint. Mix well and then remove from the heat.
Transfer the entire contents of the pan to your slow cooker or ovenproof dish. Set the slow cooker to low and cook for 6 hours or cook in the oven for 4 hours at 150°C(Fan)/300°F. Once the cooking time is up the meat should fall apart easily. If not, return to the oven or slow cooker for another 30 minutes or until the meat is tender enough to fall apart.
Whilst the filling is in the oven peel place the peeled and chopped potatoes into a pan with boiling water and simmer for 45 minutes or until soft.
Meanwhile roll out the pastry so its big enough to cover the base and sides of your pie dish (this recipe uses a 21cm (8 inch) pie dish). Grease the pie dish with a bit of soft butter (use kitchen paper to spread evenly over the base) then dust flour over the butter using a sieve. Gently place the pastry over the pie dish (drape over a rolling pin for easier manoeuvring). Gently push the pastry into the corners of the dish (don't stretch), then use a knife to cut off any excess pastry from the edges. Place the pastry lined pie dish in the fridge until you’re ready to put the pie together.
When the potatoes are cooked, drain and mash up with the milk, butter and horseradish. Then taste and season. Let the potatoes cool slightly before transferring to a large piping bag, twist the open end of the bag and secure with a peg. Set to one side for later. If you don’t have a piping bag, then leave the mash in the pan and place the lid back on. Set to one side until later. NOTE: if you are preparing the mash potatoes the day before, then transfer to a dish, cover with cling film and store in the fridge overnight. When ready to use reheat until just warm in either a pan or the microwave. If the mash appears crumbly upon reheating then mash in more milk until smooth.
Once the lamb is cooked leave to cool slightly then strain through a sieve allowing the gravy to collect in a small pan. Strain in batches placing the meat in a dish as you go. Use a fork to break up and shred the lamb. At this point the strained lamb filling and the gravy can be covered and chilled in the fridge overnight or frozen for up to 3 months. Or add the lamb straight to the pie as per the below instructions.
Putting the pie together: Pre heat your oven to 180°C(Fan)/350°F. If your mash, filling and gravy are in the fridge or freezer make sure they have been left on the side with enough time to defrost/come up to room temperature. For best results blind bake the pastry. Gently spoon the shredded lamb into the blind baked pastry. Fill to half way up the pastry leaving plenty of room for the mash.
Then take your piping bag of mash and cut the end off to create a wide opening (1.5cm). Pipe balls of mash onto the top of the filling so it evenly covers the filling. Alternatively, spoon the mash over the filling. Use a fork to pack down and bring the balls of mash together. The fork will leave a nice ruffled pattern. (Piping is optional but will ensure a even layer of mash on top of your pie).
Place the pie in the centre of the pre heated and bake for 40 minutes. Check after 30 minutes to make sure the mash isn't burning. After the 40 minutes is up the mash should be golden brown and the filling should be just bubbling around the edges.
Remove from the oven and allow to cool for 5 minutes. Whilst cooling, return to your pan of drained off gravy. Mix well and then heat gently for 5 minutes. Plate up the pies and serve with your choice of veg and hot mint gravy.
Pastry: For ease this recipe uses shop bought short crust pastry. If you want to make your own, have a look at my Steak and Ale Pie for an easy shortcrust pastry recipe. For a gluten free version look for gluten free pastry. Double check labels of all ingredients for gluten.What cut of lamb is best for slow cooking? The best lamb for this recipe is leg or shoulder. Both are great for slow cooking and will become fall apart, tender in the pan.How do you cook lamb so its tender? Tough cuts of lamb, such as leg and shoulder, need to be cooked long and slow for the meat to become tender. Cook for at least 2 hours on a low temperature (150°C Fan/300°F). If the meat is still tough cook for longer.Do you cook shortcrust pastry before adding filling? To prevent a soggy bottom its always best to blind bake a pastry, particular if you are adding a wet filling. To do this line the pie dish with the pastry then prick all over with a fork. Line the pastry with a scrunched up piece of baking paper. Weight down the paper with dried pasta/baking beans. Bake for 10 minutes at 200°C Fan (400°F), then remove paper and bake for a further 5 minutes.Can I use rice to blind bake pastry? Yes dried rice or pulses can be used when blind baking in place of baking beans. dried pasta also works well. How to store? The uncooked pie can be wrapped in cling film and either refrigerated for 2-3 days or frozen for up to 3 months. When ready to cook, thoroughly defrost or bring to room temperature. Cook as per the recipe.Once the pie is cooked any leftovers can be stored in the fridge for 2-3 days. Just leave in the pie dish, ensure the pie is fully cooled and cover in cling film. To reheat, remove from the fridge and bring to room temperature then cover with foil and place in a hot oven for 20 minutes.