Dingle pie

  • Preparation Time25 mins
  • Cooking Time120 mins
  • Serves6
  • DifficultyMedium

For the stock

Lamb bones from the meat
1 carrot
1 onion
Stalk celery
Bouquet garni (thyme sprig, parsley stalks and small bay leaf) tied with string

For the filling

450g boneless lamb or mutton (from the shoulder or leg; keep bones for stock)
255g chopped onions
255g chopped carrots
2 tsp cumin seed
25g plain flour
300ml mutton or lamb stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper

For the pastry

450g plain flour
Pinch salt
275g butter
175 ml water

For the egg wash

1 egg, slightly beaten
Pinch salt
Special equipment: 2 tins, 15cm in diameter, 4cm high

1) Preheat oven 200C/Gas 6.

2) For the stock: If no stock is available, put the bones, carrots, onions, celery and bouquet garni into a saucepan. Cover with cold water and simmer for 3 to 4 hrs to make a stock. Strain and set aside.

3) For the filling: Cut all the surplus fat away from the meat and then cut the meat into small, neat pieces about the size of a small sugar lump. Render down the scraps of fat in a hot, wide saucepan until the fat renders. Discard the pieces. Cut the vegetables into slightly smaller dice and toss them in the fat, leaving them to cook for 3 to 4 mins. Remove the vegetables and toss the meat in the remaining fat over a high heat until the colour turns deep brown.

4) Heat the cumin seed in the oven for a few mins and crush lightly. Stir the flour and cumin seed into the meat. Cook gently for 2 mins and add in the stock gradually. Bring to a boil, stirring occasionally. Add back the vegetables, season with salt and freshly ground pepper and leave to simmer, covered. If using young lamb, 30 mins will be sufficient; an older animal may take up to 1 hr.

5) For the pastry: Meanwhile, make the pastry. Sift the flour and salt into a mixing bowl and make a well in the centre. Dice the butter, put it into a saucepan with water and bring to a boil. Pour the liquid all at once into the flour and mix together quickly; beat until smooth. At first the pastry will be too soft to handle but as soon as it cools it may be rolled out to 2.5 to 5mm thick, to fit the 2 tins. The pastry may be made into individual pies or 1 large pie. Keep back 1/3 of the pastry for lids.

6) Fill the pastry-lined tins with the meat mixture which should be almost, but not quite cooked and cooled a little. Brush the edges of the pastry with the water and egg wash and put on the pastry lids, pinching them tightly together. Roll out the trimmings to make pastry leaves or twirls to decorate the tops of the pies. Make a hole in the centre, brush the lid with egg-wash and then egg-wash the decoration also.

7) Bake the pies for 40 mins. Serve with a good green salad.

Note: This recipe was provided by professional chefs and has been scaled down from a bulk recipe provided by a restaurant. The FN chefs have not tested this recipe, in the proportions indicated, and therefore, we cannot make any representation as to the results.

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