During my recent recovery (insert violin music in here) I tried to cleanse my body by eating a lot more greens. I picked up this beautiful batch of peas and sugar snap peas and cooked them by gently poaching them in some water. Whilst it was nourishing, all I could think of was "man these peas need some mint and meat and the assistance of some puff pastry".
As the weather has cooled down completely here in Sydney the thought of pies enters my head. I love making pies. I know its a bit of a cheat but I tend to buy ready made pastry. I swear one day I'll get around to fiddling with the mechanics of it all but not just yet. The Greek in me craves lamb A LOT so I thought I could use those tougher cuts of lamb that would benefit from a slow braise. Add some red wine, a handful of spices and at the last mint stir in the mint and peas. You could even add some mash on top and make shepherds pies. Whatever! I was short on pastry so once the mixture had cooled down I filled up some ramekins and topped them with egg washed pastry. Hearty and bloody good! Washed down with a bold Aussie red and dinner was served.
As usual it was a "little bit of this and that" when I made these. I'll offer some kind of guide though!
RECIPE FOR LAMB POT PIES WITH PEAS AND MINT
- 1 kilo of lamb shoulder cubed (look for good fatty marbling)
- 1 clove of garlic finely chopped
- 1 leek thinly sliced
- 1 diced carrot
- 1 cup of beef stock
- 1 cup of red wine
- 1/2 -3/4 of a cup of crushed tinned tomatoes
- 1 bay leaf
- 1- 1 1/2 cups of freshly blanched peas
- 2-3 tbsps of chopped mint
- 1 sheet of puff pastry
- eggwash (I used one egg with a little milk)
*Some people swear by dipping their meat in seasoned flour and frying it off first and then adding it in later. Its up to you. Again you may want to vary your wet ingredients but don't overdo the tomatoes. We're looking for the mint to shine right at the end.
- Fry off the leak, carrot and garlic.
- Add the meat and give everything a good stir through. Allow the meat to brown
- Add your stock, wine, tomatoes, bay leaf and some seasoning.
- Let it come to a boil once and then turn it down really low. Have your preheated oven hovering around the 150 deg C mark
- Place the "oven friendly" pot into the oven and leave it do its thing. Say about 2 hours with checks every half an hour if you're really worried!
- Pour yourself a good glass of red and ponder whats going on in the blogosphere.
- After 2 hours the meat should be tender and soft with a lovely sauce.
- Add peas and stir through mint.
- It's good to let the mixture cool down a fair bit or you may want to leave it overnight for a better taste sensation the next day.
- Fill your 1 cup capacity ramekins to nearly full (leave a little space on top)
- Cut out the puff pastry to fit over the ramekin and brush with the egg wash. pierce the pastry
Place in a 180 deg C oven for about 25 mins or until the pastry is golden and puffed up.
Enjoy with a glass of red or two.