Friday, April 27, 2012

Little Mutton (or Lamb) Pies

This recipe is based on one published in the Argus on Anzac Day 1928 and again a month later on 23 May 1928. It makes 6 or 8 little meat pies, but could be adapted to a family-size meat pie. I used a half-quantity of the recipe to make a pie for 4, and a quarter-quantity of the recipe to make two little individual pies.

I make the pies in 1-cup soufflé dishes rather than following the original recipe which calls for moulding the pastry around the bottom of a moderate-sized jar to make a case 5-7 cm high, letting the shells stand until they're firm, then filling with the meat mixture.

This pie uses leftovers from a roast. If starting with uncooked meat, cut into 2.5 cm pieces, dust with seasoned flour and brown in butter. Cover with warmed meat or vegetable stock and a suspicion of wine and simmer until three-quarters done - about an hour for diced lamb. Strain off the liquid and reserve for the "gravy". Allow the meat to cool.

Mutton (or Lamb) Pie

1 kg cooked mutton or lamb, cut into 2 cm pieces
1 onion, finely chopped
salt, pepper and herbs (parsley, thyme, bay leaf)
500 g plain flour 
125g suet, dripping or butter
1 cup milk
3/4 cup rich gravy
1 sheet gelatine, optional

Mix together the cooked meat, onion and herbs; season with salt and pepper; set aside.

Mince the suet finely; heat gently it until it bubbles and liquifies. Strain the suet, mix with the milk and bring to the boil again. Add a little salt.

Pour the boiling suet and milk mixture on to the flour; mix to a stiff dough. Divide the dough into two pieces, with one piece twice as large as the other.

Roll out the small piece of dough and cut for 6 or 8 pie covers.

Roll out the large piece of dough and cut for 6 or 8 pie cases, place cases in soufflé dishes and fill with meat mixture.

Make a hole in the centre of each pie cover. Brush the edges of the pastry with beaten egg or milk, place covers on the top of each pie and pinch the edges together. Brush the top with beaten egg and bake for 45 minutes.

When the pies are almost ready, heat the gravy and reduce to 3/4 cup, add the gelatine to it, if used, and pour through the holes left in the top of each pie.

Serves 6 to 8.

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