Tuesday, 21 September 2010

Lamb lid pie

I am against "liddy pie" this is the thing usually served as a pie. A Lid or top normally made of puff pastry is floated on top of pie filling in and individual bowl. The one allowable savoury exception in my book is a hot pot pie. So I made one, having combined it with an idea I had whilst writing another post...

I mentioned lighter ales & lamb when I was talking about steak & ale pie and got to thinking about fruit beers. Being on a touch of an economy drive after Sat Bains I spotted lamb neck at the butchers & decided I'd give the idea a go. I added Liefman's Kriek to my basket.

First I melted & seasoned a bit of butter in my pan, tossed in garden herbs (mainly rosemary & bay) and half an onion and let it all sweat on a gentle heat.
I took most of the meat off the neck chops, cubed it & reserved one bone portion. The meat got dredged in flour  and then tossed into the pan to brown. That job done in went the beer and the bone, the whole lot was brought up to the boil. This is great fun as suddenly everything smells of cherries and your stew gains an excitable pink frothy head. Crank the heat back to a simmer, pop on the lid & go and enjoy yourself. Stews & pies are one of the best things about Autumn & Winter, they fill the house with a comforting cooking smell, the promise of filling food and allow you to loaf about reading whilst they simmer & burble away.

After an hour or two everything should be reduced down and cooked to tender. About 3/4 of the way through Chuck in a handful of chopped potato, you can do this at the start, but you need serious chunks unless you want the potato to just thicken the stew & not be a separate presence on the fork.
Turn the oven on to preheat, about gas 4 and break out the pastry. Roll it out to about 10-20mm larger than the top of your pot. Unfortunately the rim on my otherwise marvellous Le Creuset  pan is to thin to support the pastry so I had to transplant everything into a pyrex dish. Put the pastry over the stew and crimp to the rim of your dish, make a couple of knife slashes in the top to let the steam out and pop in the oven for 30 minutes or so.

I have to apologise for a couple of the recent photographs, they've been taken under less than ideal conditions, usually snatched with a phone cam in low light. Still they should give a reasonable idea of what I'm wittering about.

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