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riginating from Lancashire in the 19th century, these are humble but heart-warming pies.
1.25kg British lamb neck fillet, trimmed of excess fat and sinew and cut into 3-4cm chunks
1 tbsp vegetable oil
4 onions, sliced
60g unsalted butter
3 carrots, cut into 2cm chunks
3 tbsp plain flour
4 bay leaves
½ x 20g pack thyme, leaves picked, plus 6-8 extra sprigs
6 lambs’ kidneys (optional) halved, white core removed, cut into 2 cm chunks and soaked in milk overnight
500ml fresh chicken or lamb stock
1.5kg maris piper or other floury potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
1 Pat the lamb chunks dry on kitchen paper, coat in the oil and season. Heat a large casserole or heavy-based pan over a medium-high heat and fry (in batches if necessary), turning until browned, for about 10-12 minutes; set aside.
2 Preheat the oven to 170°C, gas mark 3. Add the onions to the pan with a pinch of salt and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes. Add 30g butter and cook gently for 10-15 minutes, until soft and starting to caramelise. Toss in the carrots, lamb and resting juices, flour, bay and thyme leaves and kidneys (if using). Cook, stirring, for 1-2 minutes, then pour in the stock. Bring to a boil, then simmer briskly for 5 minutes, scraping the base of the pan to incorporate any sticky bits. Season and set aside.
3 Cover the bases of your dishes (use earthenware pie dishes or foil containers) with a layer of sliced potato. Next, divide the lamb mixture between them and top with the remaining potato; you want at least a double layer on top of each. Melt the remaining 30g butter and brush over the potato.
4 Cover each dish tightly with foil and bake for 1 hour 30 minutes, until a small knife is easily inserted. Uncover, add a picked thyme sprig to each and cook for a final 45-55 minutes, until golden. Serve, with pickled beetroot or red cabbage and some steamed greens, if liked.
This recipe first appeared in Waitrose Food magazine. myWaitrose members can download the Waitrose Food app edition for FREE. Find out more.
Typical values per serving:
This recipe was first published in November 2015.