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8 August 2007

Posh Rustic Shepherd’s Pie
leek & lamb filling, puff-pastry crust

Individual Blackberry PieTarts
fresh picked blackberries, puff-pastry crust

Posh Rustic Shepherd’s Pie
Modern British Shepherd’s Pie is overwhelmingly made with lamb mince. But I’m not super keen on mince, unless I mince it myself (mmm .. someday I’ll have the space for my dream appliance, with meat grider attachment). Also, we had a roast leg of lamb the other night and even with giant sandwiches for TB, there was still lots of tender chunks left over. I submit that there are few tastier things to do with leftover lamb then make this pie out of them.

    Makes 4 servings:

  • 2 C (packed) leftover cooked lamb, very roughly chopped (you definitely want nice big chunks!)
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 4 leeks, thoroughly cleaned and roughly chopped
  • 1 can (about 1/2 C) tomato paste
  • 1 T dried oregano
  • 2 C lamb stock (if you were thinking ahead, you made this with the leftover lamb bone). You could also use vegetable stock.
  • 250g (1/2 block) packaged puff pastry, softened

Preheat oven to (fan) 160°C. In a non-stick pan sprayed with cooking spray, saute onion and leek until softened but not browned. Add garlic and oregano and saute a further 30 seconds. If the pan gets dry, add a little of the lamb stock. Add the tomato paste and stock and mix to combine. Allow to simmer 10 minutes until slightly thickened. Add lamb and mix to combine. Remove from heat.

Meanwhile, roll the half block of pastry out until it is approximately 1″ wider than your casserole dish all around. Don’t worry if it’s not exactly perfect. Spray the casserole dish with cooking spray and gently tip in the lamb mixture. Carefully cover with the pastry, tucking up the sides to make a crust. Use some kitchen scissors or a sharp knife to cut a couple of attractive vents in the top.

Place dish on a cookie sheet (in case of spills) and place in the over. Bake for 20 minutes, until pastry is browned and flaky. You can briefly turn the oven up a few degrees to get a more browned effect. Serve to appreciative family. If not appreciative, don’t serve. They’ll regret it.

Individual Blackberry PieTarts
Very very good, very very little effort. Much easier if you happen live near a disturbed area of land colonized by blackberry bush “weeds.”

  • 2 C fresh picked blackberries, washed and picked over
  • 1/2 block of puff-pastry, divided in fourths
  • sugar or fake sugar to taste, at least 1 T
  • cream (optional)

Preheat oven to (fan) 160°C. Spray 2 large ramakins with cooking spray. Place one bit of pasty in each ramakin. Mush it out a little, but don’t worry about it too much, because it’s just going to collapse anyway. Bake 20 minutes, until lightly browned (if you’re being all smarty-like, you can bake this at the same time as the shepherd’s pie).

Meanwhile, toss the blackberries with sugar to taste. Roll out the remaining two puff pastry bits to about 1/4″ thickness and keep covered to prevent drying out.

Add 1 C of the blackberries to each ramakin, on top of the cooked pastry. Cover with the rolled out pieces and tuck the sides in to make a crust rim. Use some kitchen scissors or a sharp knife to cut a couple of attractive vents in the top of each tart.

Bake an additional 20 minutes, and then leave in the warm oven until ready to eat. Serve warm. For extra decadence, you can carefully pour some cream into the pastry vents and over the top of the pastry.


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